Health IT can lead to improved clinical outcomes

Utilization of health information technology (HIT) can improve medical outcomes, according to a study published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research.

HIT has come a long way from its beginnings as a means of assisting financial transactions. In this study, researchers examined current literature to assess the correlation between HIT implementation and its effect on medical outcomes.

Publications from the last five years that defined HIT and its effect on medical outcomes in efficiency and effectiveness were collected from the Cumulative Index of Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL) and Medical Literature Analysis and Retrieval System Online (MEDLINE). Out of 3,636 papers, 37 were included for analysis in this study.

Results found HIT implementation was linked to at least one improved medical outcome in 81 percent of studies. No statistical evidence was found on a difference in outcomes following HIT implementation in 19 percent of studies.

“A strong majority of the literature shows positive effects of HIT on the effectiveness of medical outcomes, which positively supports efforts that prepare for stage three of meaningful use. This aligns with previous reviews in other time frames,” concluded first author Donald A Redelmeier, MSc, MD, and colleagues.