Article

Does Health Information Exchange Reduce Unnecessary Neuroimaging and Improve Quality of Headache Care in the Emergency Department?

Division of General Internal Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Tennessee Health Science Center, 956 Court Avenue, Coleman D222, Memphis, TN, 38163, USA, .
Journal of General Internal Medicine (Impact Factor: 3.42). 05/2012; 28(2). DOI: 10.1007/s11606-012-2092-7
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT BACKGROUND: Health information exchange (HIE) is advocated as an approach to reduce unnecessary testing and improve quality of emergency department (ED) care, but little evidence supports its use. Headache is a specific condition for which HIE has theoretical benefits. OBJECTIVE: To determine whether health information exchange (HIE) reduces potentially unnecessary neuroimaging, increases adherence with evidence-based guidelines, and decreases costs in the emergency department (ED) evaluation of headache. DESIGN: Longitudinal data analysis SUBJECTS: All repeat patient-visits (N = 2,102) by all 1,252 adults presenting with headache to a Memphis metropolitan area ED two or more times between August 1, 2007 and July 31, 2009. INTERVENTION: Use of a regional HIE connecting the 15 major adult hospitals and two regional clinic systems by authorized ED personnel to access the patient's record during the time period in which the patient was being seen in the ED. MAIN MEASURES: Diagnostic neuroimaging (CT, CT angiography, MRI or MRI angiography), evidence-based guideline adherence, and total patient-visit estimated cost. KEY RESULTS: HIE data were accessed for 21.8 % of ED patient-visits for headache. 69.8 % received neuroimaging. HIE was associated with decreased odds of diagnostic neuroimaging (odds ratio [OR] 0.38, confidence interval [CI] 0.29-0.50) and increased adherence with evidence-based guidelines (OR 1.33, CI 1.02-1.73). Administrative/nursing staff HIE use (OR 0.24, CI 0.17-0.34) was also associated with decreased neuroimaging after adjustment for confounding factors. Overall HIE use was not associated with significant changes in costs. CONCLUSIONS: HIE is associated with decreased diagnostic imaging and increased evidence-based guideline adherence in the emergency evaluation of headache, but was not associated with improvements in overall costs. Controlled trials are needed to test whether specific HIE enhancements to increase HIE use can further reduce potentially unnecessary diagnostic imaging and improve adherence with guidelines while decreasing costs of care.

0 Bookmarks
 · 
103 Views
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Use clinician perceptions to estimate the impact of a health information exchange (HIE) on emergency department (ED) care at four major hospital systems (HS) within a region. Use survey data provided by ED clinicians to estimate reduction in Medicare-allowable reimbursements (MARs) resulting from use of an HIE. We conducted the study during a one-year period beginning in February 2012. Study sites included eleven EDs operated by four major HS in the region of a mid-sized Southeastern city, including one academic ED, five community hospital EDs, four free-standing EDs and 1 ED/Chest Pain Center (CPC) all of which participated in an HIE. The study design was observational, prospective using a voluntary, anonymous, online survey. Eligible participants included attending emergency physicians, residents, and mid-level providers (PA & NP). Survey items asked clinicians whether information obtained from the HIE changed resource use while caring for patients at the study sites and used branching logic to ascertain specific types of services avoided including laboratory/microbiology, radiology, consultations, and hospital admissions. Additional items asked how use of the HIE affected quality of care and length of stay. The survey was automated using a survey construction tool (REDCap Survey Software © 2010 Vanderbilt University). We calculated avoided MARs by multiplying the numbers and types of services reported to have been avoided. Average cost of an admission from the ED was based on direct cost trends for ED admissions within the region. During the 12-month study period we had 325,740 patient encounters and 7,525 logons to the HIE (utilization rate of 2.3%) by 231 ED clinicians practicing at the study sites. We collected 621 surveys representing 8.25% of logons of which 532 (85.7% of surveys) reported on patients who had information available in the HIE. Within this group the following services and MARs were reported to have been avoided [type of service: number of services; MARs]: Laboratory/Microbiology:187; $2,073, Radiology: 298; $475,840, Consultations: 61; $6,461, Hospital Admissions: 56; $551,282. Grand total of MARs avoided: $1,035,654; average $1,947 per patient who had information available in the HIE (Range: $1,491 - $2,395 between HS). Changes in management other than avoidance of a service were reported by 32.2% of participants. Participants stated that quality of care was improved for 89% of patients with information in the HIE. Eighty-two percent of participants reported that valuable time was saved with a mean time saved of 105 minutes. Observational data provided by ED clinicians practicing at eleven EDs in a mid-sized Southeastern city showed an average reduction in MARs of $1,947 per patient who had information available in an HIE. The majority of reduced MARs were due to avoided radiology studies and hospital admissions. Over 80% of participants reported that quality of care was improved and valuable time was saved.
    The western journal of emergency medicine 11/2014; 15(7):777-85. DOI:10.5811/westjem.2014.9.21311
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Health information exchange (HIE) has the potential to improve the quality of healthcare by enabling providers with better access to patient information from multiple sources at the point of care. However, HIE efforts have historically been difficult to establish in the US and the failure rates of organizations created to foster HIE have been high. We sought to better understand how RHIO-based HIE systems were used in practice and the challenges care practitioners face using them. The objective of our study were to so investigate how HIE can better meet the needs of care practitioners. We performed a multiple-case study using qualitative methods in three communities in New York State. We conducted interviews onsite and by telephone with HIE users and non-users and observed the workflows of healthcare professionals at multiple healthcare organizations participating in a local HIE effort in New York State. The empirical data analysis suggests that challenges still remain in increasing provider usage, optimizing HIE implementations and connecting HIE systems across geographic regions. Important determinants of system usage and perceived value includes users experienced level of available information and the fit of use for physician workflows. Challenges still remain in increasing provider adoption, optimizing HIE implementations, and demonstrating value. The inability to find information reduced usage of HIE. Healthcare organizations, HIE facilitating organizations, and states can help support HIE adoption by ensuring patient information is accessible to providers through increasing patient consents, fostering broader participation, and by ensuring systems are usable.
    Applied Clinical Informatics 01/2014; 5:861-877. DOI:10.4338/ACI-2014-06-RA-0055 · 0.39 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Health information exchange (HIE) is increasing in the United States, and it is incentivized by government policies. To systematically review and evaluate evidence of the use and effect of HIE on clinical care. Selected databases from 1 January 2003 to 31 May 2014. English-language hypothesis-testing or quantitative studies of several types of data exchange among unaffiliated organizations for use in clinical care that addressed health outcomes, efficiency, utilization, costs, satisfaction, HIE usage, sustainability, and attitudes or barriers. Data extraction was done in duplicate. Low-quality evidence from 12 hypothesis-testing studies supports an effect of HIE use on reduced use or costs in the emergency department. Direct evidence that HIEs were used by providers was reported in 21 studies involving 13 distinct HIE organizations, 6 of which were located in New York, and generally showed usage in less than 10% of patient encounters. Findings from 17 studies of sustainability suggest that approximately one quarter of existing HIE organizations consider themselves financially stable. Findings from 38 studies about attitudes and barriers showed that providers, patients, and other stakeholders consider HIE to be valuable, but barriers include technical and workflow issues, costs, and privacy concerns. Publication bias, possible selective reporting of outcomes, and a dearth of reporting on context and implementation processes. Health information exchange use probably reduces emergency department usage and costs in some cases. Effects on other outcomes are unknown. All stakeholders claim to value HIE, but many barriers to acceptance and sustainability exist. A small portion of operational HIEs have been evaluated, and more research is needed to identify and understand success factors. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. (PROSPERO registration number: CRD42014007469).
    Annals of internal medicine 12/2014; 161(11):803-11. DOI:10.7326/M14-0877 · 16.10 Impact Factor