Using the Electronic Health Record to Understand and Minimize Overuse

Published in: JAMA, Volume 317, Number 3 (January 17, 2017), pages 257-258. doi: 10.1001/jama.2016.18609

Posted on RAND.org on July 19, 2017

by Juliet Rumball-Smith, Paul G. Shekelle, David W. Bates

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In the current US health care system, a major priority is addressing the cost of care, which exceeds that of all other nations. One of the most attractive areas to target is "overuse," "unnecessary health care," or "low-value care," defined as care that provides little or no benefit to patients. These services account for substantial health care expenditures and may cause harm. Yet many factors contribute to overuse, including expansion of technology, physician payment schemes that encourage utilization, indication creep, patient expectations, and concerns about litigation.

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