Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Mixed Results from Healthcare IT Technology

In an interesting article in HealthAffairs this month "Mixed Results In The Safety Performance Of Computerized Physician Order Entry" (abstract only - subscription required for full article) the authors carried out a simulation of Computerized Physician Order Entry (CPOE) effectiveness.

It is a unique study with a relatively small sample size (62 facilities) that was self selecting that does represent some bias through small sample size, self selection and simulation vs reality. All that said there is still a surprising conclusion that
Many hospitals only detected 44% of adverse drug events and the best performing only detected 70-80%.
Not only is this wide variation and poor results for a very costly highly disruptive technology that is mandated in meaningful use. There is a clear need to validate the value of technology that is being suggested and especially if it is being mandated in the complex world of healthcare

These are, as many folks have commented to me  "very interesting times" but lets not loose sight of the science that formed the basis of some of the most significant advances in medicine encompassed in Randomly Controlled Trials.

Does your experience vary. Have you seen the value of CPOE or has it been a challenge in your facility?