Health IT

Advances in information technology, including electronic health records, that improve on the way that health care is delivered and coordinated.

Effects of the ACA on Health Care Cost Containment

Issue Brief
Mar. 2, 2017

This brief reviews the evidence on how key ACA provisions have affected the growth of health care costs. Coverage expansions produced a predictable jump in health care spending, amidst a slowdown that began a decade ago. Although we have not returned to the double-digit increases of the past, the authors find little evidence that ACA cost containment provisions produced changes necessary to “bend the cost curve.” Cost control will likely play a prominent role in the next round of health reform and will be critical to sustaining coverage gains in the long term.

Generic Medication Prescription Rates After Health System–Wide Redesign of Default Options Within the Electronic Health Record

May. 19, 2016

Mitesh Patel, Susan Day, Scott Halpern, William Hanson, Joseph Martinez, Steven Honeywell Jr, Kevin Volpp

In JAMA Internal Medicine, Mitesh Patel and colleagues, including Scott Halpern and Kevin Volpp, evaluate how changing electronic health record (EHR) defaults affects physician prescribing of generic drugs. For the study, the researchers utilized a systemic change to the University of Pennsylvania Health System’s EHR defaults. As part of this change, an opt-out checkbox labeled “dispense as written” was added to the prescription screen, and if left unchecked the generic-equivalent medication was prescribed. The authors find that generic prescribing rates increased significantly...

Infographic of the Day: Data, Data, Everywhere

May. 9, 2016

Publicly-funded datasets offer some of the most exciting growth opportunities for health services researchers interested in evaluating effectiveness, quality, and value in health care. However, data governance--the rules that protect the privacy of personal health information while allowing appropriate access by researchers--has lagged behind.

Change In Length of Stay and Readmissions Among Hospitalized Medical Patients after Inpatient Medicine Service Adoption of Mobile Secure Text Messaging

Apr. 13, 2016

Mitesh Patel, Neha Patel, Dylan Small, Roy Rosin, Jeffrey Rohbach, Nathaniel Stromberg, C. William Hanson, David Asch

In the Journal of General Internal Medicine, Mitesh Patel and colleagues, including Dylan Small, Roy Rosin, and David Asch, evaluate the association between an inpatient medicine service’s adoption of mobile secure text messaging and patient length of stay and readmissions. The authors observed the change in length of stay and 30-day readmissions between a control site and one that implemented text messaging. They find a significant decrease in length of stay for the intervention site during and after the rollout of inpatient text communication. There was no significant difference...

A Qualitative Evaluation of Patient-Perceived Benefits and Barriers to Participation in a Telephone Care Management Program

Jan. 29, 2016

Lindsay Jubelt, Kevin Volpp, Dana Gatto, Joelle Friedman, Judy Shea

In the American Journal of Health Promotion, Lindsay Jubelt and colleagues, including Kevin Volpp and Judy Shea, try to better understand the low participation rate of high-risk individuals in a targeted telephone care management program. Researchers interviewed patients who were recruited to participate in the care management program but had dropped out or never participated despite recruitment efforts. The most commonly cited barriers to participation were a lack of perceived need and a sense of distrust toward the program and its staff. These findings could help care management...

Are Patients With Cancer Less Willing to Share Their Health Information? Privacy, Sensitivity, and Social Purpose

Jan. 29, 2016

David Grande, David Asch, Fei Wan, Angela Bradbury, Reshma Jagsi, Nandita Mitra

In the Journal of Oncology Practice, David Grande and colleagues, including David Asch and Nandita Mitra, assess patient views on use of health information to build population cancer databases for research and care delivery. Participants with and without cancer were randomly assigned to rate scenarios based on their willingness to share their electronic health information in each scenario. The research finds that participants with and without cancer had a similar willingness to share health information. Both patient groups identified the purpose of information use as the most...

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