Electronic medical records as tools for quality improvement in ambulatory practice: theory and a case study

Top Health Inf Manage. 1998 Nov;19(2):35-43.


Information management is critical in today's health care environment. Traditional paper-based medical records are inadequate information management tools. Electronic medical records (EMRs) overcome many problems with paper records and are ideally suited to help physicians increase productivity and improve the quality of care they provide. The Department of Family Medicine at the Medical University of South Carolina uses the Practice Partner Patient Record EMR system. Department members have developed a quality improvement model based on this EMR system. The model has been used to improve care for acute bronchitis, diabetes mellitus, tobacco abuse, asthma, and postmenopausal osteoporosis.

MeSH terms

  • Academic Medical Centers / organization & administration*
  • Academic Medical Centers / standards
  • Asthma / drug therapy
  • Bronchitis / drug therapy
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / therapy
  • Efficiency, Organizational
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Medical Records Systems, Computerized*
  • Organizational Case Studies
  • Osteoporosis / drug therapy
  • Osteoporosis / prevention & control
  • Outpatient Clinics, Hospital / organization & administration
  • Outpatient Clinics, Hospital / standards*
  • Postmenopause
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Reminder Systems
  • Smoking / therapy
  • South Carolina
  • Total Quality Management / methods
  • Total Quality Management / organization & administration*
  • World Health Organization