|New Study Of Physicians Using HIT In Hospitals
When physicians in hospitals use health information
technology (HIT) to its full potential there are fewer deaths, fewer
complications, and lower healthcare costs, according to a study
supported by the Commonwealth Fund.
The study was led by Dr. Ruben Amarasingham, associate
chief of medicine at Parkland Health &Hospital System, in Dallas,
Texas and assistant professor of medicine at University of Texas
Southwestern Medical School; and Dr. Neil Powe, professor of medicine
at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, in Baltimore, Md.
They surveyed physicians from 41 hospitals in Texas
treating a diverse group of patients across a variety of conditions
including heart attack, heart failure and pneumonia.
The survey directly measures physicians using HIT in a hospital setting.
Respondents were asked about their use of several
different types of HIT 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
Increased use of HIT 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 Dr. Anne-Marie Audet, "But, in order to save lives and keep
costs down, health information technology has to be used to its fullest
Address: The Commonwealth Fund, One East 75th Street, New York, NY 10021; (212) 606-3800, www.cmwf.org.