[OFEK virtual medical records: an evaluation of an integrated hospital-community system].

Nurit Nirel, Bruce Rosen, Assaf Sharon, Orna Blondheim, Michael Sherf, Arnon D. Cohen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In 2005, an innovative system of hospital-community on-line medical records ("OFEK") was established at Clalit Health Services to reduce costs and improve medical care. To examine the utilization of OFEK and its impact on quality indicators and medical-service utilization. Examining frequency of use of OFEK with OFEK's own track-log data; "before" and "after" data were used to compare changes in quality indicators and service utilization for experimental versus control groups. Use of OFEK in primary-care clinics increased by hundreds of percent from 2005 to 2006 and continued rising in 2007 and 2008, albeit more slowly. At clinics in hospital catchment areas using OFEK extensively, the system reduced utilization of imaging services and, to a lesser extent laboratory use, and improved several quality measures. Analyses of the data from all catchment areas and from all study clinics revealed much weaker effects. In hospitals, the use of OFEK increased by tens of percent each year internal medicine wards showed a significant decrease in the number of laboratory tests and 3 CT tests compared with the control group. Wards using OFEK extensively showed a greater decrease in CT tests, in one imaging test, and in the average number of ambulatory hospitalizations. No similar changes were found in surgical wards. The introduction of OFEK affected some of the outcome measures examined. OFEK affects community clinics and hospital wards differently, with more consistent effects in the community. DISCUSSION AND SUMMARY: The study helps assess the extent to which OFEK's targets were achieved. In addition, it contributes to the development of measures to examine the impact of such systems, which can be used to assess a broad range of electronic-medical-information systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)72-78, 209
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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