Reaping enough value from health IT to justify the substantial investment it requires depends largely on how and where it is implemented, according to a study by Catherine DesRoches of the Institute for Health Policy at Massachusetts General Hospital, featured in the April issue of Health Affairs.
Other findings of note in the HIT-focused issue include:
- The value of health IT investment is “context-dependent”— it may depend on how comprehensive the investment is, the systems that support and interact with it, and the way in which they are used. The authors of this study — by Jeffrey McCullough, of the University of Minnesota School of Public Health, and coauthors — suggest that in the long run policies to improve health IT’s efficacy in nonacademic hospitals might be more beneficial than adoption subsidies.
- Limitations in existing EHR technology gave rise to medication errors, interruptions in workflow, and other problems common to paper systems. The authors — Rushika Fernandopulle, of Renaissance Health, in Cambridge, Mass., and Neil Patel, of the AtlantiCare Special Care Center, in Atlantic City, N.J. — recommend that providers and policy makers consider alternative software and informatics models before investing in currently available systems.