Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

'Paperless' Hospitals Are Better For Patients, Study Confirms

Date:
January 29, 2009
Source:
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions
Summary:
Results from a large-scale study of more than 40 hospitals and 160,000 patients show that when health information technologies replace paper forms and handwritten notes, both hospitals and patients benefit strongly.

Results from a large-scale Johns Hopkins study of more than 40 hospitals and 160,000 patients show that when health information technologies replace paper forms and handwritten notes, both hospitals and patients benefit strongly.

Related Articles


"Patients appear safer and hospital bottom lines may improve when health care information is gathered and stored on computers rather than on paper," says senior author Neil R. Powe, M.D., M.P.H. M.B.A, of the Department of Medicine at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and director of the Welch Center for Prevention, Epidemiology and Clinical Research.

Powe, lead author Ruben Amarasingham, M.D., M.B.A. and colleagues rated clinical information technologies at 41 hospitals in Texas and compared those results with discharge information for 167,233 patients in a new study. Amarasingham was a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar in the Department of Medicine at Johns Hopkins the time the study began.

"Previous studies only told us how well one particular electronic system used by one particular hospital worked," says Amarasingham. "This study gives us a better sense about the general success of paperless systems in a diverse set of community, academic and safety-net hospitals. We were also able to examine the many components contained in a hospital information system."

Results showed that with computerized automation of notes and records, hospitals whose technologies ranked in the top third were associated with a 15 percent decrease in the odds that a patient would die while hospitalized.

"If these results were to hold for all hospitals in the United States, computerizing notes and records might have the potential to save 100,000 lives annually," says Powe.

Similarly, the highest scores for electronic "order entry" systems were linked to a 9 percent and 55 percent decrease in the odds of death from heart attacks and coronary artery bypass procedures respectively.

The highest scores in so-called decision-support systems — computerized clinical information that guides a physician's treatment choices — were associated with a 21 percent decrease in the odds that a patient would develop complications.

The researchers also found that hospitals with the highest technology scores in the rating system showed significantly lower patient costs.

The paperless systems ranked by the Hopkins team included electronic notes, previous treatment records, test results, orders for drugs, procedures and blood tests, and decision-support systems that offer up-to-date information on treatment options and drug interactions. To rate the effectiveness of the clinical information technologies, the Hopkins researchers developed a questionnaire for physicians that asked whether an electronic system was in place in their hospitals, whether they knew how to use it and whether they used it consistently. The questionnaire produced numbered scores that allowed the researchers to place hospitals in three groups, highest third, middle third and lowest third.

"Most prior studies did not focus on the success of the interface between technology and health care professionals," says Powe. "Our assessment tool examines that important interface."Prior to its use in Texas, the tool was successfully tested in several pilot studies among hospitals around the country.

Powe says he hopes the results will not only encourage more hospitals to go paperless, but also encourage broad use of this assessment tool to guide hospitals in building better information systems that improve health outcomes.

Amarasingham is an associate chief of medicine at Parkland Health and Hospital System and assistant professor of medicine at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. Other researchers who contributed to this study include Marie Diener-West, Ph.D., Darrell Gaskin, Ph.D., and Laura Plantinga, Sc.M., of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Amarasingham et al. Clinical Information Technologies and Inpatient Outcomes: A Multiple Hospital Study. Archives of Internal Medicine, 2009; 169 (2): 108 DOI: 10.1001/archinternmed.2008.520

Cite This Page:

Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. "'Paperless' Hospitals Are Better For Patients, Study Confirms." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 January 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090126173721.htm>.
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. (2009, January 29). 'Paperless' Hospitals Are Better For Patients, Study Confirms. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090126173721.htm
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. "'Paperless' Hospitals Are Better For Patients, Study Confirms." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090126173721.htm (accessed December 18, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Kids Die While Under Protective Services

Kids Die While Under Protective Services

AP (Dec. 18, 2014) As part of a six-month investigation of child maltreatment deaths, the AP found that hundreds of deaths from horrific abuse and neglect could have been prevented. AP's Haven Daley reports. (Dec. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

AFP (Dec. 17, 2014) Border closures, quarantines and crop losses in West African nations battling the Ebola virus could lead to as many as one million people going hungry, UN food agencies said on Wednesday. Duration: 00:52 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) Can fat disappear into thin air? New research finds that during weight loss, over 80 percent of a person's fat molecules escape through the lungs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Your Boss Should Let You Sleep In

Why Your Boss Should Let You Sleep In

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) According to research out of the University of Pennsylvania, waking up for work is the biggest factor that causes Americans to lose sleep. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins