One strategy for improving value in health care and containing costs is to reduce the use of unnecessary services. The first step to combating overuse of care is to measure its prevalence, a task made potentially easier with the advent of electronic health records (EHRs). Focusing on a large Massachusetts health system (Atrius Health) that has implemented an EHR system throughout all its practices, a research team will draw upon medical claims data and information obtained from patients’ EHRs to measure the potential overuse of five common tests or procedures that are of modest or uncertain value. In addition to evaluating the feasibility and reliability of using EHR and medical claims data for this purpose, the research team will examine factors possibly related to overuse―such as patient demographics or practice characteristics―that could be targeted by new interventions.
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Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Inc.
Thomas Sequist, M.D., M.P.H.