Article

Journal of Medical Systems

, Volume 29, Issue 2, pp 103-109

Patient Safety-Related Information Technology Utilization in Urban and Rural Hospitals

  • Robert G. BrooksAffiliated withHealth Affairs, Florida State University College of MedicineFamily Medicine and Rural Health at the Florida State University College of Medicine Email author 
  • , Nir MenachemiAffiliated withFamily Medicine and Rural Health at the Florida State University College of MedicineCenter on Patient Safety, Florida State University College of Medicine
  • , Darrell BurkeAffiliated withMedical Informatics at the School of Information Studies at Florida State University
  • , Art ClawsonAffiliated withFamily Medicine and Rural Health at the Florida State University College of MedicineCenter on Rural Health Research and Policy, Florida State University College of Medicine

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Abstract

Ongoing research has linked certain information technology applications to reduction of medical errors and improved patient outcomes. The purpose of this study was to assess both the use of patient safety-related information technologies (PSIT) in urban and rural hospitals, as well as the organizational factors which may be linked to overall PSIT adoption. Florida’s 199 acute care hospitals (170 urban; 29 rural) were surveyed regarding their utilization of PSIT. Of the 10 technologies studied, rural hospitals averaged 30% utilization compared to 48% for urban hospitals. Individual PSIT applications such as pharmacy-based systems, clinical decision support systems, and outcomes and quality management tools were all more likely to be present in urban hospitals. Hospital bed size (less than 100 beds), tax status (not-for-profit vs. for-profit), and system-affiliation appeared to be related to overall PSIT utilization. These findings are valuable for those interested in the current status of hospital PSIT and set the stage for further studies relating these applications to clinical outcomes in urban and rural hospitals.

hospitals information technology patient safety rural