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The Impact of Information Technology on Emergency Health Care Outcomes

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  • Susan Athey
  • Scott Stern

Abstract

We analyze the productivity of information technology in emergency response systems. ``Enhanced 911" (E911) is information technology that links caller identification to a location database and so speeds up emergency response. We assess the impact of E911 on health outcomes using Pennsylvania ambulance and hospital records between 1994 and 1996, a period of substantial adoption. We find that as a result of E911 adoption, patient health measured at the time of ambulance arrival improves, suggesting that E911 speeds up emergency response. Further analysis using hospital discharge data shows that E911 reduces mortality and hospital costs.

Suggested Citation

  • Susan Athey & Scott Stern, 2002. "The Impact of Information Technology on Emergency Health Care Outcomes," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 33(3), pages 399-432, Autumn.
  • Handle: RePEc:rje:randje:v:33:y:2002:i:autumn:p:399-432
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Ann P. Bartel & Nachum Sicherman, 1999. "Technological Change and Wages: An Interindustry Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(2), pages 285-325, April.
    2. Susan Athey & Scott Stern, 1998. "An Empirical Framework for Testing Theories About Complimentarity in Organizational Design," NBER Working Papers 6600, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. David H. Autor & Lawrence F. Katz & Alan B. Krueger, 1998. "Computing Inequality: Have Computers Changed the Labor Market?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(4), pages 1169-1213.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • L32 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise - - - Public Enterprises; Public-Private Enterprises

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