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Hot Issues

Health Information Technology

Transmitting and Processing Electronic Prescriptions: Experiences of Physician Practices and Pharmacies
Nov. 21, 2011

The study focuses on a key aspect of e-prescribing: the electronic exchange of prescription data between physician practices and pharmacies. It explores facilitators of and barriers to the electronic transmission of new prescriptions and renewals and pharmacy e-prescription processing.

Journal Article - (Free access.)

E-Prescribing and Information to Improve Physician Prescribing Decisions
May 5, 2011

While many e-prescribing systems have features to provide access to important external patient information—drugs prescribed by physicians in other practices and patient formularies, for example—physician practices face challenges using these tools effectively, according to a study released by HSC.

HSC Research Brief No. 20
News Release

Achieving Health Information Technology's Potential to Improve Care is Daunting Task
March 24, 2011

While health information technology (HIT) holds great promise in helping clinicians improve patient care, realizing that potential will require progress on multiple fronts, according to a perspective by Ann S. O’Malley, M.D., M.P.H., a senior researcher at HSC, published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Journal Article Abstract
Media Advisory

Physician E-mail with Patients Uncommon
Oct. 7, 2010

Despite indications that many patients want to communicate with their physicians via e-mail, physicians’ use of e-mail with patients is the exception rather than the rule, according to a national study released by HSC.

Overall, only 6.7 percent of all office-based physicians nationally routinely e-mailed patients about clinical issues in 2008, according to the study funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). About one-third of office-based physicians in 2008 reported that information technology for communicating with patients about clinical issues via e-mail was available in their practice. Of the physicians with access to e-mail, about one in five (19.5%) routinely e-mailed patients.

Issue Brief No. 134
News Release

Even When Physicians Adopt E-Prescribing, Use of Advanced Features Lags
July 22, 2010

Even when physicians have access to e-prescribing, many do not routinely use the technology, particularly the more advanced features the federal government is promoting with financial incentives, according to a new national study released today by HSC.

Slightly more than two in five office-based physicians reported that information technology was available in their practice to write prescriptions in 2008, the year before implementation of federal incentives. And, among physicians with e-prescribing capabilities, about a quarter used the technology only occasionally or not at all.

Issue Brief No. 133
News Release

Electronic Medical Records Help and Hinder Communication with Patients and Other Clinicians
April 7, 2010

Commercial electronic medical records (EMRs) both help and hinder physician interpersonal communication—real-time, face-to-face or phone conversations—with patients and other clinicians, according to a new HSC study released today.

Issue Brief No. 131
News Release

Gap Exists Between Vision for Electronic Medical Records and Clinicians' Experiences
Dec. 22, 2009

A gap exists between policy makers' expectations that current commercial electronic medical records (EMRs) can improve coordination of patient care and clinicians' real-world experiences with EMRs, according to a study by HSC published online in The Journal of General Internal Medicine.

Journal Article Abstract
News Release


Does Telemonitoring of Patients�the eICU�Improve Intensive Care?
Aug. 20, 2009

While nearly 10 percent of U.S. hospital intensive care unit (ICU) beds use advanced telemonitoring—known as eICUs—there has never been a systematic evaluation of how the innovative approach to caring for critically ill patients affects quality and costs, according to a study by HSC published as a Web exclusive in the journal Health Affairs.

Journal Article Abstract
News Release


Information Gap: Can Health Insurer Personal Health Records Meet Patients' and Physicians' Needs?
March 10, 2009

While many major health insurers have created personal health records (PHRs) to allow enrollees to electronically store and organize their health care information, whether patients and physicians will embrace the new electronic tool remains an open question, according to an HSC study published in the journal Health Affairs.

Journal Article Abstract
News Release


Despite Regulatory Changes, Hospitals Cautious in Helping Physicians Purchase Electronic Medical Records
Sept. 18, 2008

Despite regulatory changes allowing hospitals to help physicians purchase electronic medical records (EMRs), hospitals are proceeding cautiously, according to a study released today by HSC.

Issue Brief No. 123
News Release
Creating Sustainable Local Health Information Exchanges: Can Barriers to Stakeholder Participation be Overcome?
Feb. 25, 2008

Barriers to sharing patient clinical data electronically among rival hospitals, doctors and health plans remain high as concerns about loss of competitive advantage and data misuse hamper participation in local health information exchanges, according to a new study released by HSC and the National Institute for Health Care Management Foundation.

Research Brief No. 2
News Release


Clinical Information Technology Adoption Varies Across Physician Specialties
Sept. 20, 2007

While practice setting and size are the strongest predictors of physicians' access to clinical information technology (IT) in their practices, significant variation in IT adoption exists across specialties, according to a national study released by HSC.

Data Bulletin No. 34
News Release



Physicians' Experience Using Commercial E-Prescibing Systems
April 3, 2007

While physicians who have embraced e-prescribing wouldn't go back to paper prescriptions, they report major barriers to using advanced e-prescribing features that many advocates believe offer the greatest potential to improve the safety and quality of health care, according to a study by HSC researchers published today as a Web exclusive in the journal Health Affairs.

Journal Article Abstract
News Release


The Role of Competition in Driving Clinical Data Exchange
Nov. 14, 2006

Recent policy efforts to encourage the use of health information technology are emphasizing development of communitywide health information exchanges to share clinical data across patient care settings. The study found that most large hospitals have or are developing physician portals to provide admitting physicians with remote access to patient records, but there is little data sharing among unaffiliated organizations. Competition among hospitals for physicians is a key factor driving adoption of these proprietary systems. In contrast, provider and health plan competition and adversarial relationships between providers and plans are viewed as major barriers to communitywide clinical data sharing.

Journal Article Abstract
Media Advisory


Clinical IT Gaps Persist Between Small and Large Physician Practices
Nov. 9, 2006

Physicians in smaller practices continue to lag well behind physicians in larger practices in reporting the availability of clinical information technology (IT) in their offices. The proportion of physicians reporting access to IT for each of five clinical activities increased across all practice settings between 2000-01 and 2004-05. However, adoption gaps between small and large practices persisted for two of the clinical activities—obtaining treatment guidelines and exchanging clinical data with other physicians—and widened for the other three—accessing patient notes, generating preventive care reminders and writing prescriptions.

Issue Brief No. 106
News Release


Physicians Slow to Adopt Patient E-mail
Sept. 21, 2006

Only about one in four physicians (24%) reported that e-mail was used in their practice to communicate clinical issues with patients in 2004-05, up from one in five physicians in 2000-01.

Data Bulletin No. 32
News Release


Physician Access to Clinical Information Technology Grows
June 7, 2006

Physician access to practice-based clinical information technology (IT) grew significantly between 2000-01 and 2004-05. The study examined whether physician practices used information technology for the following five clinical activities: obtaining information about treatment alternatives or recommended guidelines; exchanging clinical data and images with other physicians; accessing patient notes, medication lists or problem lists; generating preventive treatment reminders for the physician's use; and writing prescriptions.

Data Bulletin No. 31
News Release


Most Medicare Outpatient Visits to Physicians with Limited Clinical IT
July 7, 2005

A majority of Medicare fee-for-service outpatient visits in 2001 were to physicians without significant information technology (IT) support for patient care. Through a linkage of Medicare claims data to HSC's nationally representative physician survey, HSC researchers found that more than half of Medicare outpatient visits (57%) were to physicians in practices that used IT for no more than one of the following five clinical functions: obtaining treatment guidelines, exchanging clinical data with other physicians, accessing patient notes, generating preventive treatment reminders for the physician's use, and writing prescriptions.

Data Bulletin No. 30
Media Advisory

Limited Information Technology for Patient Care in Physician Offices
September 2004

While there's wide enthusiasm for harnessing the power of information technology (IT) to improve U.S. medical care, fewer than a quarter of physicians in 2001 could generate electronic treatment reminders for use during patient visits and only about 10 percent could write electronic prescriptions.

Providing the first nationally representative snapshot of the availability of information technology to support patient care in physician offices across specialties, practice settings and geographic areas, the study found wide variation in IT adoption across physician practices. The study examined whether physician practices used computers or other information technology for the following five clinical functions: obtaining treatment guidelines, exchanging clinical data with other physicians, accessing patient notes, generating treatment reminders for the physician's use and writing prescriptions.

Issue Brief No. 89
News Release


 

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