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Information Technology and Medical Missteps: Evidence from a Randomized Trial

  • Jonathan C. Javitt
  • James B. Rebitzer
  • Lonny Reisman

We analyze the effect of a decision support tool designed to help physicians detect and correct medical "missteps". The data comes from a randomized trial of the technology on a population of commercial HMO patients. The key findings are that the new information technology lowers average charges by 6% relative to the control group. This reduction in resource utilization was the result of reduced in-patient charges (and associated professional charges) for the most costly patients. The rate at which identified issues were resolved was generally higher in the study group than in the control group, suggesting the possibility of improvements in care quality along measured dimensions and enhanced diffusion of new protocols based on new clinical evidence.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w13493.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 13493.

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Date of creation: Oct 2007
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Publication status: published as Javitt, Jonathan C. & Rebitzer, James B. & Reisman, Lonny, 2008. "Information technology and medical missteps: Evidence from a randomized trial," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 585-602, May.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:13493
Note: HC LS
Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
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  13. Erik Brynjolfsson & Lorin M. Hitt, 2000. "Beyond Computation: Information Technology, Organizational Transformation and Business Performance," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(4), pages 23-48, Fall.
  14. 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.
  15. Phelps, Charles E., 2000. "Information diffusion and best practice adoption," Handbook of Health Economics, in: A. J. Culyer & J. P. Newhouse (ed.), Handbook of Health Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 5, pages 223-264 Elsevier.
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