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Better traumatic brain injury management through Electronic Health Record

 Electronic Health RecordThe Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP)  released a study on Monday that looked at 14,527 traumatic brain injury-related primary care office visits for 7284 unique patients over a period of 4 years. They found out that after physicians used a concussion management tool provided to them through the Electronic Health Records (EHR) of their patients, they perform better diagnosis and treatment. 

82% of children suffering from concussion visit a primary care physician rather than a specialist to be treated. In the study, the researchers from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) found that many primary care physicians  then refer their young patients to specialists because they feel they are not properly equipped to manage Traumatic Brain Injury cases.

With the input of the primary care physicians, the researchers developed an electronic template guiding the physician through a step by step approach for diagnosis, treatment and follow-up of young patients suffering from concussion injuries. The electronic tool was integrated in the Electronic Health Record of the patient. The tool provided physicians with a “concussion Smartset” allowing them to document the evolution of the patient. Physicians were trained to used the tool at various seminars organized by CHOP researchers.

The tool proved to be instrumental in implementing new treatment strategies such as performing and documenting a vestibular oculomotor exam as well as discussion return-to-play and -return-to-learn guidelines with patients and their family.

Before the program was implemented, only 1.8% of the patients had a vestibular oculomotor exam performed during their visit. After the implementation, the rate jumped to 71%.  Before, only 19% of physicians were sharing guidelines with their patients and family about when the patient could go back to play and back to school. After,they were 73%.

The study identified that using tools attached to Health Records (EHR) can be very useful in improving diagnosis  and treatment of concussion injuries for children and teenagers by primary physicians.

Read more about this study here