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The Role of Health Information Technology in Care Coordination in the United States

Hsiao, Chun-Ju PhD, MHS*; King, Jennifer PhD; Hing, Esther MPH; Simon, Alan E. MD

Medical Care:
doi: 10.1097/MLR.0000000000000276
Original Articles
Abstract

Objectives: Examine the extent to which office-based physicians in the United States receive patient health information necessary to coordinate care across settings and determine whether receipt of information needed to coordinate care is associated with use of health information technology (HIT) (defined by presence or absence of electronic health record system and electronic sharing of information).

Research Design: Cross-sectional study using the 2012 National Electronic Health Records Survey (65% weighted response rate).

Subjects: Office-based physicians.

Measures: Use of HIT and 3 types of patient health information needed to coordinate care.

Results: In 2012, 64% of physicians routinely received the results of a patient’s consultation with a provider outside of their practice, whereas 46% routinely received a patient’s history and reason for a referred consultation from a provider outside of their practice. About 54% of physicians reported routinely receiving a patient’s hospital discharge information. In adjusted analysis, significant differences in receiving necessary information were observed by use of HIT. Compared with those not using HIT, a lower percentage of physicians who used an electronic health record system and shared patient health information electronically failed to receive the results of outside consultations or patient’s history and reason for a referred consultation. No significant differences were observed for the receipt of hospital discharge information by use of HIT. Among physicians routinely receiving information needed for care coordination, at least 54% of them did not receive the information electronically.

Conclusions: Although a higher percentage of physicians using HIT received patient information necessary for care coordination than those who did not use HIT, more than one third did not routinely receive the needed patient information at all.

Author Information

*Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD

Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, Washington, DC

National Center for Health Statistics, Hyattsville, MD

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C-J.H. performed this work while working at the National Center for Health Statistics. The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. J.K. was formerly at the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology when most of the work was conducted.

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Reprints: Chun-Ju Hsiao, PhD, MHS, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, 540 Gaither Road, Room 3331, Rockville, MD 20850. E-mail: janey.hsiao@ahrq.hhs.gov.

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