Academic journal article Journal of Healthcare Management

PRACTITIONER APPLICATION: How Does Electronic Health Information Exchange Affect Hospital Performance Efficiency? the Effects of Breadth and Depth of Information Sharing

Academic journal article Journal of Healthcare Management

PRACTITIONER APPLICATION: How Does Electronic Health Information Exchange Affect Hospital Performance Efficiency? the Effects of Breadth and Depth of Information Sharing

Article excerpt

This article comes at an opportune time as healthcare systems struggle with optimization, upgrades, or outright replacement of their electronic health records (EHR) systems. Productivity must be of paramount concern for the decision makers in this very expensive appraisal. This article presents another decision point that can be factored into this assessment, albeit with some modification and additional understanding.

Cho, Ke, Atems, and Chang describe two factors for measuring productivity of use, namely breadth (the number of stakeholders [e.g., other hospitals] with which a hospital shares medical information) and depth (the level of detail [e.g., laboratory results and radiology reports] of the information shared). My contention is that the value of these measures will vary, depending on the service line.

For example, when an unconscious patient arrives in the emergency department, any information to guide the treating providers is beneficial, so both breadth and depth should be high. In a referral to a subspecialty, breadth may give a more complete picture; depth, however, will not be as necessary when the referral note covers the patient's current situation, including any supporting lab work and radiology reports. These two scenarios show how informational needs can differ.

The high-breadth, high-depth scenario indicates the most beneficial use of this information with the highest value to the providers. …

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