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Agency for Healthcare Research Quality

Health Information Technology

Select for Innovations on Health IT

Tools & Resources

AHRQ Health Information Technology (HIT) Programs: Fact Sheet
AHRQ National Resource Center for Health Information Technology
Ambulatory Safety and Quality Program: Health IT Portfolio
A Compendium of Selected Public Health Data Sources
Consumer Health Informatics and Patient Decisionmaking
Development of Electronic Transition Tools for Home Health Care
Health Information Technology: Overview
Health Information Technology: State and Regional Demonstration Projects
Medical Care Research & Review: Supplement
Medical Informatics for Better and Safer Health Care
National Evaluation of the Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (CHIPRA) Quality Demonstration Grant Program
Prospects for Care Coordination Measurement Using Electronic Data Sources
Secretary Announces New Health Information Technology Strategic Framework
Three Decades of Research on Computer Applications in Health Care: Medical Informatics Support at AHRQ Exit Disclaimer
What Physician Executives Need to Know about HIPAA

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Conferences & Meetings

Filling the Information Needs for Healthcare Reform: Expert Meeting Summary and Identification of Next Steps
Health Information Technology: Expert Panel Meeting
Highlights of Moving Toward International Standards in Primary Care Informatics: Clinical Vocabulary
Institutional Review Boards and Health Services Research Data Privacy: A Workshop Summary
Moving Toward International Standards in Primary Care Information: Clinical Vocabulary: Conference Summary

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Evidence Reports

Evidence Report/Technology Assessment, No. 132:
Costs and Benefits of Health Information Technology
Evidence Report/Technology Assessment, No. 175:
Barriers and Drivers of Health Information Technology Use for the Elderly, Chronically Ill, and Underserved
Evidence Report/Technology Assessment, No. 188:
Impact of Consumer Health Informatics Applications
Evidence Report/Technology Assessment, No. 201:
Enabling Medication Management Through Health Information Technology (Health IT)
Evidence Report/Technology Assessment, No. 203:
Enabling Health Care Decisionmaking Through Clinical Decision Support and Knowledge Management
Evidence Report/Technology Assessment, No. 206:
Enabling Patient-Centered Care through Health IT

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Speeches & Testimony

Date   Title
6/12/08  National Health IT Collaborative for the Underserved: A Public-Private Partnership for a Healthier America
6/4/08  Health IT: Programs and Progress
2/1/08  Making the Connection: Value-Driven Health Care, Health Information Technology, and Quality Care

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Research Findings

AHRQ Press Releases

Date Title
11/21/11 New Study Finds E-prescribing Is Safe and Efficient, but Barriers Remain

Research Activities, October 2012:
Electronic health records improve diabetes care and outcomes
Electronic medical records reduce negative outcomes and related costs after patient safety events occur
Study describes challenges of using electronic health record-derived measurements for quality reporting
Research shows health IT enables quality measurement, but obstacles remain
Sending health maintenance reminders to personal health records helps patients adhere to some screenings

Research Activities, September 2012:
Parental reports more accurate than electronic health records in documenting child diet and exercise counseling
Telemedicine dermatology consultations change diagnoses and improve outcomes
Drug interaction decision support software has limitations and pharmacists' knowledge of support features is limited

Research Activities, August 2012:
Electronic health records help researchers harness data

Research Activities, July 2012:
Electronic health records can help detect diagnostic errors in primary care
Primary care practices can boost clinical preventive services with electronic health records and quality improvement support

Research Activities, June 2012:
1 in 10 computer-generated prescriptions include at least one error
Clinicians find triggers and algorithms in e-prescribing software helpful in avoiding inappropriate medications in older adults
Paper previsit reminders for doctors do not add value to electronic reminders from an electronic health record system
Clinical decision support systems are effective but research is needed to promote widespread use
Decision support may aid emergency physicians in interpreting benign from serious eye movement patterns in dizzy patients

Research Activities, May 2012:
Electronic health records improve nursing care, coordination, and patient safety
Older, busier clinicians who see complex patients are more likely to use novel electronic health record (EHR) functions
Rural health care providers in California look to telehealth to supply the training needed to manage childhood obesity
Clinical inertia may represent good clinical judgment in hypertension telemanagement
Health information exchange can save money by reducing admissions from the emergency department

Research Activities, April 2012:
AHRQ expert discusses trends and challenges in health information technology
A "diabetes dashboard" screen helps clinicians quickly and accurately access patient data needed for quality diabetes care

Research Activities, March 2012:
ICU nurses show increasing acceptance of electronic health records
Pharmacists have limited awareness of the capabilities of their pharmacy information systems
Study uncovers the time spent on writing and viewing hospital electronic health records
Electronic health records in community health centers provide a better picture of care than insurance claims data

Research Activities, February 2012:
Tough questions get answers through health IT
E-prescribing systems within electronic health records reduce ambulatory prescribing errors in community-based practices
Recommendations on rounding pediatric doses may improve e-prescribing while reducing risk of adverse drug events

Research Activities, January 2012:
Clinical informatics monitoring tool helps reduce adverse drug events in nursing home settings
Duplicate medication order errors increase after computerized provider order entry is implemented
New study finds e-prescribing is safe and efficient, but barriers remain

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Research Activities, December 2011:
Human factors challenges in home health care
Three Publications Highlight Human Factors Research
Many challenges remain in the design and use of consumer health informatics interventions
Transitioning to new electronic health records can result in potential safety problems
Pediatric care providers identify desired characteristics for computerized flu vaccination alerts

Research Activities, November 2011:
Nearly 1 in 10 outpatient computerized prescriptions contains errors
Physicians who use electronic health records more intensively are more likely to use patient registries to improve care
Parents are satisfied with telemedicine care for their child’s obesity

Research Activities, October 2011:
Less than half of pharmacy computer systems studied correctly identified drug-drug interactions
Patients with type 2 diabetes express mixed reactions to a mobile phone and Web-based disease management program
Study identifies costs of implementing electronic health records in network of physician practices

Research Activities, September 2011:
Computer system compares well with clinicians in assessing, but not treating children with asthma
Providers perceive e-prescribing as being very efficient

Research Activities, August 2011:
AHRQ's clinical care tools help clinicians ensure better and safer care
Trigger tools have potential to detect adverse events following outpatient surgery

Research Activities, July 2011:
Report shows physicians view e-prescribing features as cumbersome

Research Activities, June 2011:
Physicians' unfamiliarity with electronic personal health records may slow their adoption
Physicians weigh the costs and benefits of integrating e-prescribing systems with electronic health records

Research Activities, May 2011:
Social media use is one of many innovations in care delivery transforming the frontlines of care
Patient Web portals improve diabetes care and outcomes
Specific primary care strategies may improve medication safety

Research Activities, April 2011:
Parents using electronic kiosk provide more accurate clinical information than emergency room providers
Decision support intervention prompts clinicians to update patients' problem lists in their medical records
Patients with limited health literacy less likely to use an Internet portal for diabetes and other health information
Parents find telemedicine care of children in school and childcare to be helpful and convenient
Electronic health record decision support improves the care of children with ADHD

Research Activities, March 2011:
Automated screening of patient electronic medical records is only the first step to identifying a medication problem
Expert workshop discusses disparities in health care quality and role of health IT in underresourced settings

Research Activities, February 2011:
Clinicians' adoption and use of electronic prescribing is likely linked to their views on technology

Research Activities, January 2011:
Health information technology improves care and saves lives
From the Director
Acceptance of "smart" intravenous infusion pumps is growing among nurses, but challenges remain
E-prescribing for managing medication refills has not reached its full potential
A customized computer drug alert requiring active provider response is no more effective than a passive alert
Compliance is low for computer alerts recommending conversion from intravenous to oral medications

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Research Activities, December 2010:
Physicians can use 10 strategies to manage abnormal test result alerts in electronic health records

Research Activities, November 2010:
Electronic medical record boosts documentation of test results, but still falls short for patient notification and test followup
Internet-based personal health records helpful to most HIV/AIDS patients who used them

Research Activities, October 2010:
Timely followup remains an issue with abnormal lab results in electronic health records
Decision support in the electronic record improves asthma care
Use of certain electronic health record features is associated with improved primary care quality measures
Regional health information exchanges must do more to attract small practices

Research Activities, September 2010:
Assessment of hospital computerized physician order entry systems finds many medication errors are missed
Primary care doctors prefer additional medical record information when making decisions about patient test results
Electronic prescribing with clinical decision support reduces medication errors in community-based practices
Electronic prescribing improves safety, but with a small increase in physician time

Research Activities, July 2010:
Physicians' reasons for deviating from quality guidelines are usually justified
Computerized provider order entry significantly reduces medication errors in an ambulatory setting
Physicians support health information exchange but are concerned about paying monthly fees
No additional benefit seen with remote offsite monitoring of ICU patients
Using bar-code technology with eMAR reduces medication administration and transcription errors

Research Activities, May 2010:
Drug monitoring may be improved by the use of health information technology and clinical pharmacists
Physicians with electronic health records are more able to generate patient registries
Health information technology improves the timely availability of diagnostic information

Research Activities, April 2010:
Nursing home users of information technology start to see its benefits
Computer display helps reduce the rates of ventilator-associated pneumonia in surgical intensive care units

Research Activities, March 2010:
Primary care organizational characteristics are linked to the self-management behaviors of patients with diabetes
Hospital discharge software slightly boosts patient and outpatient physician satisfaction

Research Activities, January 2010:
Computerized decisionmaking systems improve physician prescribing for long-term-care residents
Primary care physicians like e-prescribing systems, but make little use of their advanced features
Use of electronic prescribing has expanded among Massachusetts physicians
Web-based programs help patients with diabetes feel empowered to take care of themselves
Longer use of electronic health records is not linked to improved quality of care

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Research Activities, December 2009:
Electronic patient-provider messaging is linked to good diabetes control
Certain types of hospitals are more likely to use computerized physician order entry
Staff willingness to change and adapt is important when implementing electronic pharmacy systems

Research Activities, November 2009:
Safety awareness and technological adoption are keys to managing test results in family medicine offices
Certain patients are more likely to e-mail their physicians

Research Activities, October 2009:
Electronic prescriptions help community pharmacists recognize prescribing errors
Clinicians respond more positively to an electronic health record over time

Research Activities, September 2009:
Electronic health records help identify patients with hypertension and cardiac problems

Research Activities, July 2009:
Staff "super users" who train others on clinical information systems help shape positive employee attitudes
Physician practices appear ready for electronic health record implementation
Data derived from electronic health records is not superior to administrative data for measuring performance
Electronic medication administration records improve communication and decisionmaking in nursing homes

Research Activities, June 2009:
Electronic health records provide more complete information than paper-based records in labor and delivery units
Patient-centered health information technology has little impact on reducing pediatric medication errors in emergency departments
Health information systems need to address pediatric needs

Research Activities, May 2009:
Clinical decision support systems are costly to develop and rely heavily on physician and pharmacist expertise
Physicians who use electronic health records may be less likely to pay malpractice claims

Research Activities, April 2009:
Voluntary reporting and computerized surveillance work best together to identify adverse drug events

Research Activities, January 2009:
Doctor's use of e-prescribing systems linked to formulary data can boost drug cost savings
Community pharmacists and technicians are mostly satisfied with e-prescribing
New clinical decision support system eliminates many grievances about their usefulness
Emergency medicine consensus conference examines the role of health care simulation in developing clinical expertise

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