The Diffusion and Value of Healthcare Information Technology

By Anthony G. Bower | Go to book overview

Summary
Virtually no one would argue that the $1.6 trillion spent annually (as of 2002) on U.S. healthcare is spent efficiently. Americans are not any healthier than citizens in most other developed nations, despite the mammoth expenditures.There is a well-documented productivity renaissance in the U.S. economy, dating from the mid-1990s. A number of prominent industries, including wholesaling and retailing, have greatly increased productivity over the last decade.1 At the heart of their efforts was information technology (IT) transformation, although not all heavy IT-using industries have experienced increased productivity.The purpose of this study is to investigate four sets of questions designed to help determine if healthcare can duplicate the IT-enabled gains seen in other industries, and if so, how:
What is the current diffusion of HIT, especially the complex electronic health record (EHR) systems2 that hold out the promise of healthcare transformation?
How does EHR diffusion compare to other innovations, especially IT innovations, in other industries? And how fast will EHR likely diffuse if the healthcare system does nothing differently?
How much would HIT diffusion likely be worth to society (1) if nothing is done differently and also (2) if adoption were quickened?
What should the government do, if anything, to assist in the purchase or implementation of HIT and specifically EHR? Is speeding the adoption of EHR worth the costs of doing so?

1 The primary productivity measure used in this report is labor productivity, which is simply output divided by labor hours.

2 A basic EHR system provides electronic remote user access of results in the form of text, including lab reports, radiology, transcribed notes, current medications, problems, demographics, and possibly some scanned reports. More advanced EHR systems have guideline-based content and patient- and condition-specific reminders, population management, and interprovider communication.

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The Diffusion and Value of Healthcare Information Technology
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page i
  • Preface iii
  • Contents v
  • Figures vii
  • Tables ix
  • Summary xi
  • Acknowledgments xvii
  • Acronyms xix
  • Chapter One - Introduction 1
  • Chapter Two - What Is the Current Diffusion of Hit? 5
  • Chapter Three - Ehr Past and Future Diffusion in Relation to Other Innovations 11
  • Chapter Four - The Potential Value of Wide Hit Diffusion 33
  • Chapter Five - Should the Government Intervene to Speed Diffusion of Hit? 55
  • Bibliography 69
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