Patient Safety-Related Information Technology Utilization in Urban and Rural Hospitals
- Cite this article as:
- Brooks, R.G., Menachemi, N., Burke, D. et al. J Med Syst (2005) 29: 103. doi:10.1007/s10916-005-2999-1
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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.