The impact of health information technology on the quality of medical and health care : a systematic review

Jamal, Aziz, McKenzie, Kirsten, & Clark, Michele J. (2009) The impact of health information technology on the quality of medical and health care : a systematic review. Health Information Management Journal, 38(3), pp. 26-37.

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Objective: To systematically review the published evidence of the impact of health information technology (HIT) on the quality of medical and health care specifically clinicians’ adherence to evidence-based guidelines and the corresponding impact this had on patient clinical outcomes. In order to be as inclusive as possible the research examined literature discussing the use of health information technologies and systems in both medical care such as clinical and surgical, and other health care such as allied health and preventive services.----- Design: Systematic review----- Data Sources: Relevant literature was systematically searched on English language studies indexed in MEDLINE and CINAHL(1998 to 2008), Cochrane Library, PubMed, Database of Abstracts of Review of Effectiveness (DARE), Google scholar and other relevant electronic databases. A search for eligible studies (matching the inclusion criteria) was also performed by searching relevant conference proceedings available through internet and electronic databases, as well as using reference lists identified from cited papers.----- Selection criteria: Studies were included in the review if they examined the impact of Electronic Health Record (EHR), Computerised Provider Order-Entry (CPOE), or Decision Support System (DS); and if the primary outcomes of the studies were focused on the level of compliance with evidence-based guidelines among clinicians. Measures could be either changes in clinical processes resulting from a change of the providers’ behaviour or specific patient outcomes that demonstrated the effectiveness of a particular treatment given by providers. ----- Methods: Studies were reviewed and summarised in tabular and text form. Due to heterogeneity between studies, meta-analysis was not performed.----- Results: Out of 17 studies that assessed the impact of health information technology on health care practitioners’ performance, 14 studies revealed a positive improvement in relation to their compliance with evidence-based guidelines. The primary domain of improvement was evident from preventive care and drug ordering studies. Results from the studies that included an assessment for patient outcomes however, were insufficient to detect either clinically or statistically important improvements as only a small proportion of these studies found benefits. For instance, only 3 studies had shown positive improvement, while 5 studies revealed either no change or adverse outcomes.-----
Conclusion: Although the number of included studies was relatively small for reaching a conclusive statement about the effectiveness of health information technologies and systems on clinical care, the results demonstrated consistency with other systematic reviews previously undertaken. Widescale use of HIT has been shown to increase clinician’s adherence to guidelines in this review. Therefore, it presents ongoing opportunities to maximise the uptake of research evidence into practice for health care organisations, policy makers and stakeholders.

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ID Code: 30021
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: PDF version will be made available online 6 months after date of publication
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Evidence-Based Practice, Evidence-Based Health Care, Information Systems, Medical Informatics, Quality of Health Care, Review
ISSN: 1833-3583
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700) > Health Information Systems (incl. Surveillance) (111711)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Public Health & Social Work
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2009 Health Information Management Association of Australia
Deposited On: 31 Jan 2010 21:31
Last Modified: 10 Apr 2013 00:05

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