ONC Review: Health IT Adoption Leads to Positive Outcomes

March 6, 2014 in News

The majority of studies have found that health IT adoption has enabled care quality improvements, according to a recent literature review conducted by the RAND Corporation for the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT, Clinical Innovation Technology reports (Pedulli, Clinical Innovation Technology, 3/5).  

Review Details

The review examined 236 studies on health IT from 2011 to 2013.

The studies looked at the effect of health IT on health care:

  • Efficiency;
  • Quality; and
  • Safety.

The review focused “specifically on identifying and summarizing the evidence relating to the use of health IT as outlined in the meaningful use regulations” (Slabodkin, Health Data Management, 3/5).

Under the 2009 federal economic stimulus package, health care providers who demonstrate meaningful use of certified electronic health record systems can qualify for Medicaid and Medicare incentive payments.

Review Findings

Of the studies included in the review:

  • 77% had positive or mixed-positive outcomes;
  • 45% had overwhelmingly positive outcomes; and
  • 20% had negative outcomes.

Among studies examining patient safety:

  • 67% reported positive results; and
  • 17% reported negative results (McCann, Healthcare IT News, 3/5).

Takeaways

The report stressed that more studies should be conducted to test health IT safety and efficiency (Clinical Innovation Technology, 3/5).

It stated, “While the great majority of studies reported positive outcomes for process quality measures, not all studies did so, and most studies lacked sufficient detail to determine which factors may have led to the lack of benefit found.”

In addition, the review noted there is a “pervasive limitation” concerning how such studies are conducted and reported (Healthcare IT News, 3/5).

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