, Volume 31, Issue 5, pp 319-327
Date: 12 Jul 2007

Is the Availability of Hospital IT Applications Associated with a Hospital’s Risk Adjusted Incidence Rate for Patient Safety Indicators: Results from 66 Georgia Hospitals

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This study examines the associations between the availability of IT applications in a hospital and that hospital’s risk adjusted incidence rate per 1,000 hospitalizations for Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s (AHRQ) 15 Patient Safety Indicators (PSIs). The study population consists of a convenience sample of 66 community hospitals in Georgia that completed a Hospital IT survey by December 2003 and provided data to Georgia Hospital Discharge Data Set during 2004. AHRQ’s PSI software was used to estimate risk adjusted incidence rates. Differences in means, Pearson correlation coefficients, and multivariate regression analysis were used to determine if the availability of IT applications were associated with better PSI outcomes. This study finds very little statistically significant correlation between the availability of IT applications and risk adjusted PSI incident rate per 1,000 hospitalizations. In the multivariate regression models, the overall availability of IT applications in a hospital was significantly and negatively associated with the risk adjusted incident rate for only postoperative hemorrhage or hematoma. The count of functional applications available was negatively associated with postoperative hemorrhage or hematoma and foreign body left during procedure, while the count of technological devices was only associated with postoperative hemorrhage or hematoma. This study finds that the overall number of functional applications and technological devices available in a hospital is not associated with improved risk adjusted PSI outcomes. Future research is needed to examine if specific IT applications in specific clinical areas of the hospital are associated with improved PSI outcomes.