The impact of an integrated hospital-community medical information system on quality of care and medical service utilisation in primary-care clinics

Nurit Nirel, Bruce Rosen, Assaf Sharon, Hadar Samuel, Arnon D. Cohen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background. In 2005, an innovative system of hospital-community, on-line medical records (OFEK) was introduced in Clalit Health Services (CHS). Goals. To examine OFEK's use and impact on quality indicators and medical-service utilisation in CHS primary-care clinics. Methods. Examining the frequency of OFEK's use with its own track-log data; comparing 'before' and 'after' quality indicators and service utilisation of experimental versus control clinics. Results. Use of OFEK increased by hundreds of percent between 2005 and 2006, continued rising at a slower rate in 2007 and decreased slightly in 2008. At clinics in catchment areas of hospitals using OFEK extensively, OFEK reduced the number of imaging tests and, to a lesser extent, laboratory testing and improved several quality measures. An examination of all clinics in the catchment areas and in the study revealed a much weaker impact. Conclusions. OFEK's introduction affected a number of outcome measures - some, significantly - in medical and financial terms. Its increased use at additional clinics may exert a stronger impact there, too. The study contributes to the development of measures to examine the impact of such systems, which can be used to assess a broad range of Health Information Technology (HIT) systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-74
Number of pages12
JournalInformatics for Health and Social Care
Volume36
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2011
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Health information technology
  • health plans
  • health services utilisation
  • primary care clinics
  • quality of care

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