The impact of health information technologies on quality improvement methodologies' efficiency, throughput and financial outcomes: A retrospective observational study

Raed H. Alhazme, Syed S. Haque, Hal Wiggin, Arif M. Rana

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: To evaluate whether or not the utilization of Health Information Technologies (HITs) in Quality Improvement Methodologies (QIMs) has impacts on QIMs' efficiency, throughput and financial outcomes at healthcare organizations and physician practices in the United States. Methods: This is a retrospective observational study that was conducted between the years of 2014 and 2015 and relied on two data sources: the Dorenfest Institute dataset and the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Analytics data source. In addition, questionnaires were submitted to collect data about how healthcare settings in the United States had been utilizing QIMs in the last 10 years. The submitted questionnaire invitations yielded 144 responses from 134 hospitals and 10 physician practices. Descriptive statistics were used to assess the condition of the data. This involved the utilization of Box-Whisker plots to visualize the data shape, outliers and variation. The Gamma correlation analysis method was used to evaluate the statistical relationships between the QIM outcomes, efficiency, throughput and financial outcomes, and the employment of HIT systems in QIMs. Results: The study found that 99.3% of the healthcare organizations and physician practices had implemented at least one QIM over the last 10 years. In the QIM implementations, the total numbers of reported utilization instances of manual data collection, electronic health records, lab information systems, pharmacy information systems, computerized provider order entry and radiology information systems were 387, 352, 205, 185, 180 and 158, respectively. Based on a 95% confidence limit, the Gamma statistical test has shown an inverse correlation between the exclusive utilization of manual data collection and the overall QIM efficiency (p = 0.047, Gamma = -0.388) and throughput (p = 0.012, Gamma = -0.593) outcomes. However, the overall QIM financial outcomes were found to have a statistically insignificant correlation (p = 0.159). Conclusions: The study has revealed statistically significant negative impacts on QIMs' efficiency and throughput outcomes when the manual data collection is the sole method used in QIM implementations. This also indicates a positive correlation between the QIMs' efficiency and throughput outcomes and the HIT utilization in QIMs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number154
JournalBMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making
Volume16
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 5 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health Policy
  • Health Informatics

Keywords

  • Clinical and business intelligence
  • Data analytics
  • Healthcare challenges
  • Quality control
  • Quality improvement

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