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Agency for Healthcare Research Quality

Health Information Technology

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 PortfolioNew
A Compendium of Selected Public Health Data Sources
Consumer Health Informatics and Patient Decisionmaking
Development of Electronic Transition Tools for Home Health CareNew
Health Information Technology: Overview
Health Information Technology: State and Regional Demonstration Projects
Health Information Technology in Children's Health Care
Medical Informatics for Better and Safer Health Care
Secretary Announces New Health Information Technology Strategic Framework
Three Decades of Research on Computer Applications in Health Care: Medical Informatics Support at AHRQ
Using Computers To Advance Health Care
What Physician Executives Need to Know about HIPAA

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Conferences & Meetings

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
Integrated State Health Information Systems: Workshop Brief, July 1997
Moving Toward International Standards in Primary Care Information: Clinical Vocabulary: Conference Summary

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Evidence Reports

Evidence Report/Technology Assessment: Number 131:
Telemedicine for the Medicare Population—Update

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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  Statement by Carolyn Clancy Before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce, Subcommittee on Health
2/1/08  Making the Connection: Value-Driven Health Care, Health Information Technology, and Quality Care
11/1/07  Health Information Technology and Underserved Populations
6/12/07 AHRQ's Research Efforts in Comparative Effectiveness
11/6/06 The Benefits of Health IT and P4P
11/1/06 Achieving Enhanced Quality and Care Through Health IT
9/27/06 Value-Based Purchasing, Transparency and Transformation
6/21/06 Testimony on Accelerating the Adoption of Health Information Technology
6/7/06 National Health IT Day
6/5/06 Health IT: Improving the Quality of Health Care
4/11/06 A New Culture of Health IT
3/23/06 Health Information Technology and Health Care Transformation
2/13/06 Health Care IT: The Foundation for Improving Care
10/25/05 Health Information Technology, Quality of Care, and Evidence-based Medicine: An Interlinked Triad
9/9/05 Health Information Technology and the "Quality Movement"
7/27/05 Testimony on Health Information Activities at AHRQ
6/30/05 Testimony on Health Information Technology Activities at AHRQ
6/8/05 Quality Is the Goal for Patient Safety and Health IT
5/26/05 AHRQ's Health IT Initiative: A "Real-World" Laboratory
5/18/05 Testimony on Telemedicine Activities at the Department of Health and Human Services
4/4/05 The Quality Challenge
3/7/05 Achieving Health IT Momentum: "Do's" and "Don'ts"
2/14/05 Health Information Technology: The Road Ahead

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Research Findings

Agency Press Releases
Date   Title
3/13/08 AHRQ Awards $5 Million To Help Integrate Clinical Decision Support Technologies into Health Care Delivery
10/12/07 AHRQ Expands Therapeutics Education and Research Centers and Adds New Topics: Health IT, Economics, Formularies

Research Activities, August 2008:
Conference calls, E-mail discussion groups, and targeted Web sites may improve pediatric practice immunization rates
Studies elaborate on the potential use of health information technology to improve care delivery
Patients like Web-based health records that enable them to communicate with their providers about care-specific issues
E-prescribing will not greatly disrupt workflow in outpatient practices if carefully implemented
Few medical practices have electronic health records, and clinicians don't make full use of them

Research Activities, July 2008:
AHRQ report indicates that gene-based tests need better monitoring

Research Activities, June 2008:
Telepsychiatrists and in-person therapists deliver similar therapy to veterans suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder

Research Activities, May 2008:
Nurses can facilitate quality improvement in primary care practices with electronic medical records
Managing knowledge in family practices takes more than technology
Telepsychiatry can help veterans with combat-related posttraumatic stress disorder
AHRQ awards $5 million to help integrate clinical decision support technologies into health care delivery

Research Activities, April 2008:
Doctors override automated alerts on potential drug interactions
More work is needed to determine the impact of hospital information technology applications on patient outcomes

Research Activities, March 2008:
Most employers review but do not use quality data when selecting health care plans
Care quality is not necessarily better with electronic health records
Studies examine emergency communication, use of defibrillators, and benefit of ED pharmacists

Research Activities, February 2008:
Financial incentives to physicians and long-term care facilities may foster adoption of computerized drug systems
Doctors should remind patients about warfarin compliance, even those who claim to be taking the drug as directed
Hospitals serving the uninsured and underserved need help with public reporting and pay-for-performance measures

Research Activities, January 2008:
A computer-based intravenous protocol can improve glycemic control in surgical ICU patients
Studies examine pharmacy workload and medication errors and cost savings of hospital barcode medication systems

Research Activities, December 2007:
A pharmacy alert system plus physician-pharmacist collaboration can reduce inappropriate drug prescribing among elderly outpatients
Use of simple clinical information systems can improve outcomes of patients with diabetes

Research Activities, November 2007:
AHRQ expands therapeutics education and research centers and adds new topics: Health IT, economics, and formularies
Local touchscreen computer kiosks can help parents in urban, low-income communities learn about their child's health
Studies explore the use and functions of electronic health records
Implementing a basic electronic prescribing system may reduce nonclinical prescribing errors
Electronic data collection can greatly improve recruitment of primary care patients into clinical trials
California Medicaid managed care plans would like to increase chronic disease care management programs

Research Activities, October 2007:
Studies funded by AHRQ's Primary Care Practice-Based Research Networks (PBRNs) identify ways to improve patient care and report medical errors

Research Activities, September 2007:
Medication errors are made during care for half of the children seen at rural California emergency departments
Computerized drug-drug interaction alerts are useful, but can be improved

Research Activities, August 2007:
Changes in workflow and tasks need to be assessed when introducing bar code medication administration into nurses' work
New reports identify State-level privacy and security solutions for secure exchange of health information

Research Activities, July 2007:
Smaller physician office practices are slower to adopt use of electronic health records

Research Activities, May 2007:
Report issued to Congress on electronic prescribing to cut errors and costs

Research Activities, April 2007:
Updated pharmacy data can track whether HIV patients are maintaining enough adherence for treatment success
New webliography identifies reliable prescription medication Web sites for consumers

Research Activities, March 2007:
Barriers impede efforts to use a region-wide hospital medication error reporting system
Urban influence codes reveal more about children's patterns of health care use and coverage
Older adults' psychological and health characteristics influence their use and timing of online health information searches

Research Activities, February 2007:
Computerized and age-specific drug alerts can reduce both inappropriate prescribing of drugs and unnecessary drug alerts
Standardizing data input for electronic health records may improve their potential to measure care quality

Research Activities, January 2007:
People with significant health needs or barriers to care access are more likely to use the Internet for health information

Research Activities, December 2006:
Journal supplement reviews evidence for the efficacy of telemedicine and telecare

Research Activities, November 2006:
Computerized drug alerts when ordering medications reduce inappropriate prescribing for the elderly

Research Activities, September 2006:
Using handheld computers with specific prescribing software at the point of care can reduce unsafe NSAID prescribing

Research Activities, August 2006:
Studies examine the prevalence, impact, and disclosure of domestic violence among women
Studies examine the practice of prescribing medications to outpatients that can dangerously interact with one another
Studies examine use of computed tomography and risk of rupture in acute appendicitis

Research Activities, July 2006:
Greater use of agency nurses in nursing homes may lead to poorer quality of care
Patients with the poorest functioning after a stroke benefit the most from followup therapy

Research Activities, May 2006
Electronic medication alerts reduce inappropriate prescribing of warfarin with interacting drugs
Computerized prescribing alerts can be designed to be widely accepted by primary care clinicians
Many primary care doctors still do not use electronic antibiotic prescribing for acute infections

Research Activities, April 2006
New information will help health care providers adopt health information technologies

Research Activities, March 2006
Computerized medication alert systems may need to be more specific for home health care patients
Computerized alerts and professional collaboration improve laboratory monitoring of outpatients starting new medications

Research Activities, February 2006:
The new Medicare drug bill encourages E-prescribing to improve patient safety and health, but advanced systems are key
Computerized physician order entry prevents drug errors, but can initially result in new errors in ICUs
Implementation of computerized order entry systems with clinical decision support in long-term care facilities is a challenge
AHRQ launches new "learning resources" to help providers adopt health IT

Research Activities, January 2006:
Computerized drug-laboratory interaction alerts change doctors' prescriptions
Small medical practices are slow to adopt health information technology

Research Activities, December 2005:
Computer kiosks help patients with diabetes and low literacy skills understand their susceptibility to complications

Research Activities, October 2005:
AHRQ awards over $22.3 million in health information technology implementation grants
Study investigates PDA software applications that can optimize medication safety
Using a computerized kiosk during emergency treatment for children's asthma improves medication information
Computerized guidelines for reactive airway disease do not affect care delivery or outcomes

Research Activities, September 2005:
Computerized guidelines for psychotropic drug use can improve prescribing and reduce falls among hospitalized elderly patients
Decision support systems that minimize clinicians' efforts to receive and act on system recommendations can improve care
Adoption rates of electronic health records are low among physician groups
Many rural primary care providers seek information to support patient care, but most still prefer print over online sources

Research Activities, August 2005:
Fears about the digital divide between advantaged and disadvantaged families may not be warranted
Decision support systems that minimize clinicians' efforts to receive and act on system recommendations can improve care

Research Activities, July 2005:
Linking lab and pharmacy databases can help identify patients who don't undergo followup for abnormal tests
New Web-based ICU safety reporting system may have the potential to reduce medical errors at ICUs across the country

Research Activities, June 2005:
Study reveals racial/ethnic and income-related disparities in use of Web-based health services

Research Activities, May 2005:
Patients like access to their electronic medical record and E-mailing their doctor, but doctors still prefer the telephone
Use of an interactive computer program can help patients and staff improve diabetes care in primary care practices
Practice-based research networks can use E-mail to speed diagnosis of anthrax and other rare infectious diseases
Use of computerized simulation models can help communities plan an effective response to bioterrorism
Survey reveals that hospital leaders are concerned about the impact of mandatory error-reporting systems

Research Activities, April 2005:
Algorithms can enhance communication between pharmacists and physicians about medications prescribed for elderly patients

Research Activities, March 2005:
New study on computerized order entry finds flaws that could lead to errors, but there are opportunities for improvement
Computerized standing orders can increase rates of flu and pneumonia vaccination of hospital patients

Research Activities, February 2005:
Following up on abnormal test results is challenging for busy doctors who view hundreds of results a week
Organizational research can help clinicians make decisions about staff and IT systems

Research Activities, January 2005:
Voluntary primary care safety reporting system includes errors due to communication, diagnostic tests, and medication
Clinicians value medication safety alerts and welcome small-group training to make better use of them
Community pharmacists receive many computer-generated alerts about drug-drug interactions, most of which they override
Involving all staff members in guideline-recommended care can improve oversight and coordination of patient care

Research Activities, October 2004:
Computerized information systems prompt monitoring tests and medication adjustment that can improve diabetes care and outcomes

Research Activities, June 2004:
Researchers identify five information technologies that have great potential to improve patient safety for children

Research Activities, March 2004:
Updated ICU information systems substantially free nurses from documentation, giving them more time for direct patient care

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AHRQ Advancing Excellence in Health Care