Health IT

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

The Use of Individual Provider Performance Reports by US Hospitals

Feb. 13, 2018

In the Journal of Hospital Medicine, Joshua Rolnick and Kira Ryskina analyze trends in how hospitals use the electronic health record to track and provide feedback on provider performance. The authors use data from a nationally representative survey of US hospitals from 2013 to 2015 to identify hospitals that have used electronic data to create individual provider performance profiles (IPPs). They model how the odds of IPP use differ as a function of hospital characteristics, including ownership (non-profit, for-profit, or government), geographic region, teaching versus...

Accuracy of Billing Codes Used in the Therapeutic Care of Diabetic Retinopathy

Aug. 1, 2017

Marisa Lau, Jonathan L. Prenner, Alexander J. Brucker, Brian L. VanderBeek

In JAMA Ophthalmology, Marisa Lau and colleagues, including Brian VanderBeek, seek to determine the accuracy of diagnostic, procedural, and therapeutic billing codes used in the treatment of diabetic retinopathy. As insurance billing claim databases represent a growing field of scientific inquiry within ophthalmology, validating the accuracy of billing claim codes is of increasing importance. The authors conducted a retrospective medical record review at three clinical practices, examining each patient’s billing data and medical record, measuring positive and negative predictive...

Video Analysis of Factors Associated With Response Time to Physiologic Monitor Alarms in a Children’s Hospital

Jul. 11, 2017

Christopher P. Bonafide, A. Russell Localio, John H. Holmes, Vinay M. Nadkarni, Shannon Stemler, Matthew MacMurchy, Miriam Zander, Kathryn E. Roberts, Richard Lin, Ron Keren

In JAMA Pediatrics, Christopher Bonafide and colleagues, including John Holmes and Ron Keren, seek to identify factors associated with nurses' response time to physiologic monitor alarms at the bedside. As nurse response time to bed alarms remains slow, the authors examine patient- and nurse-related factors that affect responses to alarms. The authors video recorded 551 hours of care administered by 38 nurses to 100 children. They find several variables that shorten nurses’ response time to alarms. These include if the patient was on complex care service, if family members were...

Treatment seeking as a mechanism of change in a randomized controlled trial of a mobile health intervention to support recovery from alcohol use disorders

Jul. 10, 2017

Joseph E. Glass, James R. McKay, David H. Gustafson, Rachel Kornfield, Paul J. Rathouz, Fiona M. McTavish, Amy K. Atwood, Andrew Isham, Andrew Quanbeck, Dhavan Shah

In Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, Joseph Glass and colleagues, including James McKay, assessed the efficacy of an Addiction-Comprehensive Health Enhancement Support System (A-CHESS) in increasing the use of services for addiction. This model is an electronic health framework that has been applied to a diverse set of health problems, including pediatric asthma and breast and lung cancer, and was previously adopted to alcohol addiction in a randomized-controlled trial. The authors conducted secondary data analyses of this trial, including 349 adults with alcohol use disorders...

Factors affecting willingness to share electronic health data among California consumers

Jun. 22, 2017

Katherine K. Kim, Pamela Sankar, Machelle D. Wilson, and Sarah C. Haynes

In BMC Medical Ethics, Katherine Kim and colleagues, including Pamela Sankar, explore factors that affect California consumers’ willingness to share electronic health information for health care and research. The authors conducted a random digit dialed telephone survey of adult Californians in English and Spanish, and assessed 800 consumers’ thoughts on EHR impact on both privacy and research. Consumers’ choices about electronically sharing health information are affected by their attitudes towards EHRs, and their beliefs about research benefit. The odds of consent for electronic...

Hospital Readmission and Social Risk Factors Identified from Physician Notes

Research Brief
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May. 4, 2017

This study finds that automated methods for analyzing physician notes within electronic health records can identify social risk factors more completely than administrative data, enhancing a hospital’s ability to identify patients at risk of readmission.

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.

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