A study published links physician use of health information technology (
What IT can do is pull together, sort, organize and present data in a format and delivery mode that turns the data into information. In the traditional paper chart, data is scattered, and it takes work to locate the needed data and transfer it to a summary page or some sort. Keep in mind that each time data elements are transcribed, there is a chance for error. And, rest assured, errors occur.
So – something like 25% of practice have some sort of
Here is the full press release:
The survey directly measures physicians using health IT in a hospital setting. Respondents were asked about their use of several different types of health IT including electronic notes and records, order entry, and clinical decision support. Researchers found that relatively modest increases in technology use had dramatic results—a 10 point increase in the use of electronic notes and medical records was associated with a 15 percent reduction in the likelihood of patient death. And, when physicians electronically entered their instructions for patient care, there was a 55 percent reduction in the likelihood of death for some procedures. Increased use of health IT was also linked to lower costs: hospitals with automated test results, order entry, and decision support experienced lower costs for all hospital admissions (-$110, -$132, and -$538, respectively per admission).
“These findings tell us, straight from the physicians using it, that this technology works to improve quality of care for patients—the first priority of health information technology,” said Commonwealth Fund Vice President for Quality Improvement and Efficiency Anne-Marie Audet, M.D. “But, in order to save lives and keep costs downs, health information technology has to be used to its fullest extent. As President Obama and his health care team consider investing in this technology for the nation, it would make sense to factor in on-going support and training for health care providers so that the technology can live up to its potential.”
Two additional Commonwealth Fund publications, also released today, expand on how health IT can be successfully integrated to help the
? In her new column, Commonwealth Fund President Karen Davis calls health IT a critical component of efforts to reform the
? In a new “Perspectives on Health Reform” brief also published today on The Commonwealth Fund Web site, David Blumenthal, M.D., director of the Institute for Health Policy at Massachusetts General Hospital/Partners HealthCare System and professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, outlines federal policy options for overcoming the financial, technical, and logistical obstacles to getting hospitals and doctors to adopt health IT. “The Federal Role in Promoting Health Information Technology,” recommends offering assistance for purchase and implementation of health IT to providers that lack financial means; financial support for information exchange in local communities; support for research to improve health IT capabilities; payment reform to hasten use of health IT; and creating national regulations and standards for data security and patient privacy.