Information Technology and Medical Missteps: Evidence from a Randomized Trial
43 Pages Posted: 16 Oct 2007 Last revised: 30 Jul 2012
Date Written: October 2007
We analyze the effect of a decision support tool designed to help physicians detect and correct medical "missteps". The data comes from a randomized trial of the technology on a population of commercial HMO patients. The key findings are that the new information technology lowers average charges by 6% relative to the control group. This reduction in resource utilization was the result of reduced in-patient charges (and associated professional charges) for the most costly patients. The rate at which identified issues were resolved was generally higher in the study group than in the control group, suggesting the possibility of improvements in care quality along measured dimensions and enhanced diffusion of new protocols based on new clinical evidence.
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