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Can Health Care Information Technology Save Babies?

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  • Amalia R. Miller
  • Catherine E. Tucker

Abstract

Electronic medical records (EMRs) facilitate fast and accurate access to patient records, which could improve diagnosis and patient monitoring. Using a 12-year county-level panel, we find that a 10 percent increase in births that occur in hospitals with EMRs reduces neonatal mortality by 16 deaths per 100,000 live births. This is driven by a reduction of deaths from conditions requiring careful monitoring. We also find a strong decrease in mortality when we instrument for EMR adoption using variation in state medical privacy laws. Rough cost-effectiveness calculations suggest that EMRs are associated with a cost of $531,000 per baby's life saved.

Suggested Citation

  • Amalia R. Miller & Catherine E. Tucker, 2011. "Can Health Care Information Technology Save Babies?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 119(2), pages 289-324.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jpolec:doi:10.1086/660083
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Laurence C. Baker & Ciaran S. Phibbs, 2002. "Managed Care, Technology Adoption, and Health Care: The Adoption of Neonatal Intensive Care," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 33(3), pages 524-548, Autumn.
    2. Douglas Almond & Joseph J. Doyle & Amanda E. Kowalski & Heidi Williams, 2010. "Estimating Marginal Returns to Medical Care: Evidence from At-risk Newborns," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 125(2), pages 591-634.
    3. Sherry Glied & Adriana Lleras-Muney, 2008. "Technological innovation and inequality in health," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 45(3), pages 741-761, August.
    4. Amalia R. Miller & Catherine Tucker, 2009. "Privacy Protection and Technology Diffusion: The Case of Electronic Medical Records," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 55(7), pages 1077-1093, July.
    5. Janet Currie & W. Bentley MacLeod, 2008. "First Do No Harm? Tort Reform and Birth Outcomes," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(2), pages 795-830.
    6. Agha, Leila, 2014. "The effects of health information technology on the costs and quality of medical care," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 19-30.
    7. Marianne P. Bitler & Janet Currie, 2005. "Does WIC work? The effects of WIC on pregnancy and birth outcomes," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 24(1), pages 73-91.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Jeffrey S. McCullough & Stephen Parente & Robert Town, 2013. "Health Information Technology and Patient Outcomes: The Role of Organizational and Informational Complementarities," NBER Working Papers 18684, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. repec:oup:oxford:v:33:y:2017:i:4:p:541-571. is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Scott Duke Kominers & Alexander Teytelboym & Vincent P Crawford, 2017. "An invitation to market design," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 33(4), pages 541-571.
    4. Amalia R. Miller & Catherine Tucker, 2017. "Frontiers of Health Policy: Digital Data and Personalized Medicine," Innovation Policy and the Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(1), pages 49-75.
    5. Dranove, David & Garthwaite, Craig & Li, Bingyang & Ody, Christopher, 2015. "Investment subsidies and the adoption of electronic medical records in hospitals," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 309-319.
    6. Seth Freedman & Haizhen Lin & Jeff Prince, 2016. "Does Competition Lead to Agglomeration or Dispersion in EMR Vendor Decisions?," Working Papers 16-19, NET Institute.
    7. Jin-Hyuk Kim & Liad Wagman, 2015. "Screening incentives and privacy protection in financial markets: a theoretical and empirical analysis," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 46(1), pages 1-22, March.
    8. Catherine Tucker, 2012. "Patent Trolls and Technology Diffusion," NBER Chapters,in: Standards, Patents and Innovations National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. David Dranove & Chris Forman & Avi Goldfarb & Shane Greenstein, 2014. "The Trillion Dollar Conundrum: Complementarities and Health Information Technology," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 6(4), pages 239-270, November.
    10. Gautam Gowrisankaran & Keith A. Joiner & Jianjing Lin, 2016. "Does Health IT Adoption Lead to Better Information or Worse Incentives?," NBER Working Papers 22873, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Wahid Abdallah, 2017. "Electronic filing System, Bureaucratic Efficiency and Public Service Delivery: Evidence from Bangladesh," Working Papers id:12223, eSocialSciences.
    12. Tucker, C.E., 2012. "Institutions, competition and regulation : Intellectual property and innovation," Discussion Paper 2012-030, Tilburg University, Tilburg Law and Economic Center.
    13. repec:tpr:amjhec:v:4:y:2018:i:1:p:51-79 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Miller, Amalia R. & Tucker, Catherine, 2014. "Health information exchange, system size and information silos," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 28-42.
    15. Carole Roan Gresenz & Scott P. Laughery & Amalia Miller & Catherine E Tucker, 2015. "Health IT and Ambulatory Care Quality," Working Papers WR-1131, RAND Corporation.
    16. Jason Chan & Anindya Ghose, 2012. "Internet's Dirty Secret: Assessing the Impact of Online Intermediaries on the Outbreak of Sexually Transmitted Diseases," Working Papers 12-07, NET Institute, revised Sep 2012.
    17. Athey, Susan & Catalini, Chrsitian & Tucker, Catherine, 2017. "The Digital Privacy Paradox: Small Money, Small Costs, Small Talk," Research Papers 3498, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
    18. Seth Freedman & Haizhen Lin & Jeffrey Prince, 2018. "Information Technology and Patient Health: Analyzing Outcomes, Populations, and Mechanisms," American Journal of Health Economics, MIT Press, vol. 4(1), pages 51-79, Winter.
    19. Seth Freedman & Haizhen Lin & Jeffrey T. Prince, 2014. "Information Technology and Patient Health: An Expanded Analysis of Outcomes, Populations, and Mechanisms," Working Papers 2014-02, Indiana University, Kelley School of Business, Department of Business Economics and Public Policy.

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