Improving Health Care Outcomes through Personalized Comparisons of Treatment Effectiveness Based on Electronic Health Records
Article first published online: 22 AUG 2011
© 2011 American Society of Law, Medicine & Ethics, Inc.
The Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics
Volume 39, Issue 3, pages 425–436, Fall 2011
How to Cite
Hoffman, S. and Podgurski, A. (2011), Improving Health Care Outcomes through Personalized Comparisons of Treatment Effectiveness Based on Electronic Health Records. The Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics, 39: 425–436. doi: 10.1111/j.1748-720X.2011.00612.x
- Issue published online: 22 AUG 2011
- Article first published online: 22 AUG 2011
Comparative effectiveness research (CER) is one of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act's significant initiatives that aims to improve treatment outcomes and lower health care costs. This article takes CER a step further and suggests a novel clinical application for it. The article proposes the development of a national framework to enable physicians to rapidly perform, through a computerized service, medically sound personalized comparisons of the effectiveness of possible treatments for patients' conditions. A treatment comparison for a given patient would be based on data from electronic health records of a cohort of clinically similar patients who received the treatments previously and whose outcomes were recorded. This framework has unique potential to simultaneously improve the quality of health care, reduce its cost, and alleviate public concerns about rationing and “one size fits all” medicine.