Health IT Contributes to Increased Cure Rates for Chronic Disease
A New Mexico trial study showed that implementing Health IT into small community practices can significantly increase cure rates of the chronic disease hepatitis C. According to medical professionals, a patient suffering from hepatitis C can make 12 to 18 visits to a specialist every year. In New Mexico, there are not enough specialists to provide timely treatment to the 30,000 residents infected with hepatitis C.
The study, Project ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes), paired up primary-care physicians with specialists at academic medical centers for videoconference training on treating hepatitis C. After the weekly meetings, the cure rate for patients treated under Project ECHO was the equivalent of those treated at the University of New Mexico Medical Center, and significantly higher than those in previous community-based treatment programs.
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