Headache electronic health record initiative reduces MRI orders and neurology referrals

The implementation of an electronic health record (EHR) headache tool in conjunction with an educational partnership with primary care providers (PCPs) changed ordering habits and saved approximately US$192,000 per 1000 patients via reductions in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) orders and neurology referrals by 35% and 77%, respectively.

A chart review of headache referrals to the neurology department at Geisinger Medical Center, an integrated healthcare system in Danville, Pennsylvania, demonstrated that a significant proportion of patients were diagnosed with a primary headache disorder or chronic daily headache, but only half were trialed on prescription medication prior to referral.