Health IT and Quality

The federally defined meaningful use objectives (MUOs) for electronic health record (EHR) systems have focused attention on the relationship between technology and care quality.  In this research, we analyzed an extensive dataset of 3,900 US hospitals over a five year time period from 2006 to 2010.  We found that hospitals transitioning to Electronic Health Care (EHR) systems that were capable of meeting the 2011 standards (stage 1) for “meaningful use," saw improvements in the outcomes of providing care for conditions of acute myocardial infarction, heart failure, and pneumonia. The effects varied depending on hospital baseline quality performance, with low-quality hospitals seeing the largest improvements in quality. However, we also found some troubling declines in quality associated with transitions to the most advanced EHR systems (supported by the NSF).

Research findings in Health Services Research Journal, 2012

We have also been examining the impact of specific technologies.  For example, the impact of electronic medication administration records (eMAR) and computerized physician order entry (CPOE) on compliance with medication guidelines.  Relative to non-adopters of both eMAR and CPOE, we find that the odds of adherence were higher by 14–29% for eMAR-only hospitals and by 13–38% for hospitals with both technologies. Further, each additional 2 years of technology use was associated with 6–15% higher odds of compliance on all medication measures for eMAR-only hospitals and users of both technologies (supported by DHS and NSF).

Research findings in the Journal of American Medical Informatics Association

We are currently examining the impact of IT on safety.

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