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9/8/2010
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Health IT Bringing Slow Gains To Patient Care

Survey finds more work is needed on interoperability, functionality, and satisfaction levels to leverage best practices in case management.




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As health delivery organizations grapple with incorporating their workflows into computerized systems, new research shows that health information technology, while making an impact on a variety of medical management interventions, is doing so less quickly than anticipated.

The "2010 Health Information Technology Survey: How Technology Is Changing the Practice of Case Management," report was published last week by TCS Healthcare Technologies in conjunction with the Case Management Society of America and the American Board of Quality Assurance and Utilization Review Physicians.

The report compared results from a 2010 survey against a similar study conducted in 2008. More than 15,000 individuals were interviewed each year via e-mail to gauge trends in care management software applications. The research examines additional applications used by providers, payers, care managers, and others to support care management interventions and patient care.

Among the key findings of the survey were:

-- 69% use multiple health IT systems, while 16% use only one health IT system;

-- 23% of information technology systems are fully integrated and interoperable with other external IT applications;

-- 23% have moved to a completely paperless environment regarding patient or care management records;

-- 54% scan medical records, documents, or communications into their medical management information system;

-- 35% can share clinical data electronically with other providers; and

-- 26% allow providers to access report cards that show physician- and patient-specific compliance with reporting initiatives.

"Despite the slower than expected integration, the survey data indicates progress is occurring," Teri Treiger, president of CMSA, said in a statement. However "trends related to interoperability, functionality, and satisfaction levels indicate more work needs to done to leverage best practices for medical care."

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