NEW ORLEANS (March 4, 2013) – Practicing clinicians have indicated strong support for the ability of health IT to overcome communication challenges among care providers. Considering that a series of Institute of Medicine reports on errors in healthcare have led to widespread recognition that siloed practices and inadequate communication are primary contributors to medical errors, continued endorsement for health IT will lead to better communication and enhanced quality of care.
The results come from the 2013 iHIT study conducted by HIMSS and HIMSS Analytics, released during HIMSS13, the organization’s Annual Conference and leading healthcare IT event. Designed to explore the role of health IT from an inter-professional communication perspective, more than 500 clinician respondents working in a care delivery setting provided information on the value of health IT in support of quality care.
According to the study, the health IT tools in place at the provider organizations of respondents support various clinical processes and provide improved access to the information needed to prepare for delivery of care. This includes having improved access to information needed on patients transferring to a clinician’s unit/caseload, ultimately resulting in enhanced levels of patient care.
Highlights of the survey results include:
“The use of health IT to support communication processes, data and information is a recent phenomenon,” said Joyce Sensmeier, MS, RN-BC, CPHIMS, FHIMSS, FAAN, Vice President, Informatics, HIMSS. “But it is clear from this study that there are key opportunities for improvements in workflow and communication between colleagues through use of health IT tools and informatics competencies.”
The iHIT scale, originally developed by HIMSS and HIMSS Analytics in 2006, is designed to measure the perception of practicing clinicians regarding the ways in which HIT influence interdisciplinary communication, workflow patterns and the degree of satisfaction of clinicians with HIT applications and tools. Findings from this study suggest that the iHIT and its four subscales are a promising measure of attitudes towards the impact of HIT on the role of clinician communication.
The full results of the 2013 iHIT Study are available at: www.himss.org/ihit