A recent study has found that leading American hospitals have made greater progress implementing health information technology.
- Information company Thompson Reuters and the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society’s HIMSS Analytics arm together produced this report.
- “This is one of the first studies to make the connection between hospitals using advanced information technologies and quality and safety benchmarks,” a HIMSS Analytics official said.
- Their conclusion: Hospitals ranked on the Thompson Reuters 100 Top Hospitals list have achieved more integration of HIT than the average hospital.
- Health IT is considered one of the keys to improving care delivery, patient safety and management efficiency (and possibly even corresponding cost savings).
Top-rated hospitals are adopting health information technology in their care management processes at a faster rate than other hospitals. The leaders are more than two times farther ahead than most hospitals.
- In 2010, 21 percent of leading hospitals used HIT at least for administering medication and related patient record-keeping involving doctors or nurses. That contrasts with 9 percent of all hospitals.
- Just 1 percent of top-rated hospitals were at the earliest stages of HIT integration, while 17 percent of all hospitals haven’t progressed beyond that level.
- Fourteen percent of top-ranked hospitals stood in the final stages of IT adoption in 2010, in comparison with 4 percent of all hospitals. A year before, 6 percent of rated hospitals had reached that level of integration, while just 2 percent of all hospitals had done so.
- In both 2009 and 2010, ranked hospitals averaged greater progress toward HIT implementation than all U.S. hospitals.
- These data from the study show that better hospitals outpace other hospitals, statistically and in terms of HIT adoption.
The researchers conclude that movement into fuller use of electronic medical record systems reflects in better performance measures.
- Hospitals further along in HIT implementation are significantly more likely to hit national performance goals.
- Those using electronic medical record systems to a more integrated degree appear to perform better in clinical care and business efficiency.
The report from these two groups adds to the body of knowledge and validation that’s accumulated already about HIT. Health IT holds promise, as well as is demonstrating that medical technology helps improve patient care delivery and efficient health system operations.