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Study: Health IT Use Can Lower Hospital Mortality Rates, Costs

02/01/2009

Landmark study in Archives of Internal Medicine with nice editorial by David Bates.   I have some thoughts on what the pharmacy department might be doing in these hospitals where there was a difference in mortality; will post later.  Would like to see similar study on outcomes with and without BCMA (Hey – a guy can dream).

Study: Health IT Use Can Lower Hospital Mortality Rates, Costs – iHealthBeat

Study: Health IT Use Can Lower Hospital Mortality Rates, Costs

Hospitals’ use of health IT is associated with lower mortality rates, complications and costs, according to a new study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, Reuters/Washington Post reports (Steenhuysen, Reuters/Washington Post, 1/26).

Study Details

The researchers divided clinical IT systems into four categories:

  • Clinical decision support;
  • Medical notes and records;
  • Order Entry; and
  • Test Results.

The researchers surveyed physicians at 41 urban hospitals in Texas about their use of IT systems in each of the four categories. The researchers then looked at the relationship between IT usage and the rates of inpatient death, complications, costs and lengths of stay for 167,233 patients ages 50 and older who were admitted to the participating hospitals in 2005 and 2006.

The study was funded by the Commonwealth Fund (Conn, Modern Healthcare, 1/26).

Study Findings

The study found that patients at hospitals that ranked highest in health IT use by physicians were 16% less likely to develop complications than patients treated at hospitals where physicians used IT less.

The study also found that patient mortality rates were 15% lower at hospitals that ranked highest in the use of software to automate patient records and notes.

In addition, heart attack patients had a 9% lower risk of dying and bypass patients had a 55% lower risk of dying at hospitals with high scores in use of software to track physicians’ orders, according to the study.

"If these results were to hold for all hospitals in the United States, computerizing notes and records might have the potential to save 100,000 lives annually," Neil Poe of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, who worked on the study, said (Reuters/Washington Post, 1/26).

[Pharmacoinformatics Feed From Poikonen’s Evernote]

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