Healthcare News & Insights

Study links hospital quality and advanced health IT use

What do the best-performing hospitals have in common? One thing is that they’re farther along in their adoption of health IT systems, according to a recent study. 

Researchers recently examined the hospitals that had been identified as 100 Top Hospital award winners by Thomson Reuters in that organization’s annual list. Those hospitals were then ranked according to HIMSS Analytics’ Electronic Medical Records Adoption Model (EMRAM), a system that assigns a score from Stage 0 to Stage 7 based on how far along an organization is in adopting health IT.

According to the study, the hospitals identified as top performers were also more advanced than others in terms of health IT. For example:

  1. In 2009, 14% of the hospitals in the top 100 were in Stages 5, 6 or 7, compared to 6% of all hospitals in the U.S., and
  2. In 2010, just 1% of the 100 Top Hospitals were in Stage 0 or 1, compared to 14% of all U.S. hospitals.

The average EMRAM stage for 100 Top Hospitals in 2010 was 3.8. All hospitals in the country averaged 2.9.

While there isn’t necessarily a direct causal link between health IT adoption and a hospital’s performance — for example, a hospital may have completed an EHR implementation because it’s well managed, rather than the other way around — but at the very least, it does show that the top hospitals value health technology.

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