Some Good News on Health Information Technology

 A new study [gated, but with abstract] in the Archives of Internal Medicine finds that hospitals using health information technology experience lower costs, fewer complications and lower mortality. For every one percent increase in the use of health information technology, in-hospital mortality falls by 1.5%. The technology studied included electronic medical records, decision-support tools, physician order entry and automated medical notes.

However, as pointed out here, the real question is whether the investment in health IT is cost effective. As previously reported here, the CBO finds scant savings, and other problems have been identified in posts by Maggie Mahar and Linda Gorman.

Comments (2)

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  1. John Goodman says:

    The issue is: was the change initiated by the providers as part of their normal business model?
    If so, it will probably work. If not, it probably wont work.

  2. Linda Gorman says:

    They have data from 41 of 72 hospitals surveyed. A question is how this might affect the outcomes via selection bias. Outcome measure is odds of fatal hospitalization. They say they adjusted for confounders. How they did that is crucial especially with such relatively small cost reductions–a maximum of $538 per admission.