Study Links Hospitals' IT Use to Improved Patient Outcomes
Patients who are treated at hospitals with health IT systems are more likely to have better health outcomes, according to a Florida State University study published in the current issue of the Journal of Healthcare Management, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports.
"Our study is the first to link the use of IT to improved outcomes across a large number of community hospitals," Nir Menachemi, lead author of the study and director of the Center on Patient Safety at the FSU College of Medicine, said, adding, "We found that the more information systems adopted at a given hospital, the better that hospital performed on a variety of important patient outcome measures."
The study compared overall IT adoption with patient discharge data at 98 hospitals throughout Florida. The study examined three categories of IT use:
Administrative, such as billing, payroll and supply chain management departments;
Clinical, such as computerized physician order entry and electronic health records; and
Strategic, such as IT systems for managed care, nurse staffing and executive information.
The study found that hospitals that properly utilize IT networks can better ensure that clinicians receive critical data at the point of care that can help them adhere to proven clinical guidelines.
"The evidence we found is a compelling reason for hospitals to make sure they are utilizing the most up-to-date information systems," Menachemi said (South Florida Sun-Sentinel, 12/20).