High-tech Texas hospitals see fewer complications, lower costs, researcher finds

Feb 02, 2009

Texas hospitals using health information technologies had fewer complications, lower mortality rates and lower costs, a UT Southwestern Medical Center researcher has found.

The study, available Jan. 26 in The Archives of Internal Medicine, measured automation in urban hospitals using a Clinical Information Technology Assessment Tool. The tool, administered to physicians who provide inpatient care, assesses the degree to which clinical information processes in the hospital are computerized.

"Hospitals that achieved a highly usable, well-structured technology system that physicians wanted to use had extraordinary outcomes," said Dr. Ruben Amarasingham, assistant professor of internal medicine at UT Southwestern and the study's lead author. "If implementation is done well, health information technologies can be hugely beneficial for patients. To our knowledge this is the largest study of its kind examining hospital information system capabilities from the perspective of the physician."

Texas was selected as the study site because of its large and diverse patient population and its wide range of hospitals.

Three factors were measured for a hospital to receive a high score: The information process must be available as fully computerized; the physicians must know how to activate the computerized process; and they must choose the computerized process over other alternatives, such as paper-based documentation.

Dr. Amarasingham and his colleagues examined the association between the hospitals' automation and inpatient mortality, complications, costs and length of stay among patients with myocardial infarction, congestive heart failure, coronary artery bypass grafting or pneumonia.

For all the medical conditions studied, automation of notes and records was associated with a decrease in fatalities. Higher scores in order entry were associated with decreases in death from myocardial infarction and coronary artery graft procedures. Additionally, hospitals that scored high on test results, order entry and decision support had lower costs for all hospital admissions.

"It's an emerging view that a health-care system is a combination of technologies and its people," said Dr. Amarasingham, who also serves as associate chief of medicine at Parkland Health & Hospital System. "You cannot really divorce one from the other. If hospitals don't take the extra steps to make sure a system is well-designed from the perspective of physicians and other health professionals, there is the potential to spend a great deal of money and have no impact."

Source: UT Southwestern Medical Center

Explore further: A new approach to cut death toll of young people in road accidents

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

A smart prosthetic knee with in-vivo diagnoses

Apr 22, 2014

The task was to develop intelligent prosthetic joints that, via sensors, are capable of detecting early failure long before a patient suffers. EPFL researchers have taken up the challenge.

Meteorites yield clues to Martian early atmosphere

Apr 16, 2014

(Phys.org) —Geologists who analyzed 40 meteorites that fell to Earth from Mars unlocked secrets of the Martian atmosphere hidden in the chemical signatures of these ancient rocks. Their study, published ...

Making dams safer for fish around the world

Apr 14, 2014

Think of the pressure change you feel when an elevator zips you up multiple floors in a tall building. Imagine how you'd feel if that elevator carried you all the way up to the top of Mt. Everest – in the ...

Drones used to assess damage after disasters

Apr 11, 2014

Researchers of the University of Twente use a new method to map structural damage after disasters. A remote-controlled drone with a regular high-quality camera takes a large amount of pictures of a building. ...

Guns aren't the only things killing cops

Apr 11, 2014

The public does not realize—in fact, police themselves may not realize—that the dangers police officers are exposed to on a daily basis are far worse than anything on "Law and Order."

Recommended for you

Sensors may keep hospitalized patients from falling

7 hours ago

(Medical Xpress)—To keep hospitalized patients safer, University of Arizona researchers are working on new technology that involves a small, wearable sensor that measures a patient's activity, heart rate, ...

Rising role seen for health education specialists

9 hours ago

(HealthDay)—A health education specialist can help family practices implement quality improvement projects with limited additional financial resources, according to an article published in the March/April ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Genetic code of the deadly tsetse fly unraveled

Mining the genome of the disease-transmitting tsetse fly, researchers have revealed the genetic adaptions that allow it to have such unique biology and transmit disease to both humans and animals.

Ocean microbes display remarkable genetic diversity

The smallest, most abundant marine microbe, Prochlorococcus, is a photosynthetic bacteria species essential to the marine ecosystem. An estimated billion billion billion of the single-cell creatures live i ...