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Information Technology and Medical Missteps: Evidence from a Randomized Trial

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

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Jonathan C. Javitt & James B. Rebitzer & Lonny Reisman, 2007. "Information Technology and Medical Missteps: Evidence from a Randomized Trial," NBER Working Papers 13493, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:13493
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    Cited by:

    1. James B. Rebitzer & Mari Rege & Christopher Shepard, 2008. "Influence, Information Overload, and Information Technology in Health Care," NBER Working Papers 14159, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. McCullough, Jeffrey S. & Snir, Eli M., 2010. "Monitoring technology and firm boundaries: Physician-hospital integration and technology utilization," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 457-467, May.
    3. Randall D. Cebul & James B. Rebitzer & Lowell J. Taylor & Mark E. Votruba, 2008. "Organizational Fragmentation and Care Quality in the U.S. Healthcare System," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 22(4), pages 93-113, Fall.
    4. repec:tpr:amjhec:v:4:y:2018:i:1:p:51-79 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. 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.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • M15 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - IT Management

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