New Study Credits HIT for Hospital Quality

A new study from experts at the U.S. Agency for Health Care Research & Quality finds that adoption of health information technology (HIT) has had a positive effect on declining rates of hospital adverse drug events (ADEs). The AHRQ study credits “meaningful use” (MU) of health information technology with 22% of the reduction in hospital adverse drug events that took place from 2010 to 2013—translating to as many as 67,000 fewer ADEs attributed to MU over the three-year period. Findings were computed using the Medicare Patient Safety Monitoring System, which tracks 21 ADEs occurring among adults hospitalized at acute care hospitals for acute myocardial infarction, heart failure, pneumonia and conditions requiring major surgery. Hospitals’ MU technological capacities were evaluated using a widely-accepted proprietary scoring method-ology that grades medication-related capabilities. For the time frame during which authors noted a 22% decline in ADEs that could be attributed to MU, they found a 269% increase in medication-related technology capabilities at acute-care hospitals. The article “Meaningful Use of Health Information Technology and Declines in In-hospital Adverse Drug Events,” is available from the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association (www.amia.org).