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      Measuring value for money: a scoping review on economic evaluation of health information systems

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          Abstract

          Objective

          To explore how key components of economic evaluations have been included in evaluations of health information systems (HIS), to determine the state of knowledge on value for money for HIS, and provide guidance for future evaluations.

          Materials and methods

          We searched databases, previously collected papers, and references for relevant papers published from January 2000 to June 2012. For selection, papers had to: be a primary study; involve a computerized system for health information processing, decision support, or management reporting; and include an economic evaluation. Data on study design and economic evaluation methods were extracted and analyzed.

          Results

          Forty-two papers were selected and 33 were deemed high quality (scores ≥8/10) for further analysis. These included 12 economic analyses, five input cost analyses, and 16 cost-related outcome analyses. For HIS types, there were seven primary care electronic medical records, six computerized provider order entry systems, five medication management systems, five immunization information systems, four institutional information systems, three disease management systems, two clinical documentation systems, and one health information exchange network. In terms of value for money, 23 papers reported positive findings, eight were inconclusive, and two were negative.

          Conclusions

          We found a wide range of economic evaluation papers that were based on different assumptions, methods, and metrics. There is some evidence of value for money in selected healthcare organizations and HIS types. However, caution is needed when generalizing these findings. Better reporting of economic evaluation studies is needed to compare findings and build on the existing evidence base we identified.

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          Most cited references62

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          Effects of computerized clinical decision support systems on practitioner performance and patient outcomes: a systematic review.

          Developers of health care software have attributed improvements in patient care to these applications. As with any health care intervention, such claims require confirmation in clinical trials. To review controlled trials assessing the effects of computerized clinical decision support systems (CDSSs) and to identify study characteristics predicting benefit. We updated our earlier reviews by searching the MEDLINE, EMBASE, Cochrane Library, Inspec, and ISI databases and consulting reference lists through September 2004. Authors of 64 primary studies confirmed data or provided additional information. We included randomized and nonrandomized controlled trials that evaluated the effect of a CDSS compared with care provided without a CDSS on practitioner performance or patient outcomes. Teams of 2 reviewers independently abstracted data on methods, setting, CDSS and patient characteristics, and outcomes. One hundred studies met our inclusion criteria. The number and methodologic quality of studies improved over time. The CDSS improved practitioner performance in 62 (64%) of the 97 studies assessing this outcome, including 4 (40%) of 10 diagnostic systems, 16 (76%) of 21 reminder systems, 23 (62%) of 37 disease management systems, and 19 (66%) of 29 drug-dosing or prescribing systems. Fifty-two trials assessed 1 or more patient outcomes, of which 7 trials (13%) reported improvements. Improved practitioner performance was associated with CDSSs that automatically prompted users compared with requiring users to activate the system (success in 73% of trials vs 47%; P = .02) and studies in which the authors also developed the CDSS software compared with studies in which the authors were not the developers (74% success vs 28%; respectively, P = .001). Many CDSSs improve practitioner performance. To date, the effects on patient outcomes remain understudied and, when studied, inconsistent.
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            Systematic review: impact of health information technology on quality, efficiency, and costs of medical care.

            Experts consider health information technology key to improving efficiency and quality of health care. To systematically review evidence on the effect of health information technology on quality, efficiency, and costs of health care. The authors systematically searched the English-language literature indexed in MEDLINE (1995 to January 2004), the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, the Cochrane Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects, and the Periodical Abstracts Database. We also added studies identified by experts up to April 2005. Descriptive and comparative studies and systematic reviews of health information technology. Two reviewers independently extracted information on system capabilities, design, effects on quality, system acquisition, implementation context, and costs. 257 studies met the inclusion criteria. Most studies addressed decision support systems or electronic health records. Approximately 25% of the studies were from 4 academic institutions that implemented internally developed systems; only 9 studies evaluated multifunctional, commercially developed systems. Three major benefits on quality were demonstrated: increased adherence to guideline-based care, enhanced surveillance and monitoring, and decreased medication errors. The primary domain of improvement was preventive health. The major efficiency benefit shown was decreased utilization of care. Data on another efficiency measure, time utilization, were mixed. Empirical cost data were limited. Available quantitative research was limited and was done by a small number of institutions. Systems were heterogeneous and sometimes incompletely described. Available financial and contextual data were limited. Four benchmark institutions have demonstrated the efficacy of health information technologies in improving quality and efficiency. Whether and how other institutions can achieve similar benefits, and at what costs, are unclear.
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              Criteria list for assessment of methodological quality of economic evaluations: Consensus on Health Economic Criteria.

              The aim of the Consensus on Health Economic Criteria (CHEC) project is to develop a criteria list for assessment of the methodological quality of economic evaluations in systematic reviews. The criteria list resulting from this CHEC project should be regarded as a minimum standard. The criteria list has been developed using a Delphi method. Three Delphi rounds were needed to reach consensus. Twenty-three international experts participated in the Delphi panel. The Delphi panel achieved consensus over a generic core set of items for the quality assessment of economic evaluations. Each item of the CHEC-list was formulated as a question that can be answered by yes or no. To standardize the interpretation of the list and facilitate its use, the project team also provided an operationalization of the criteria list items. There was consensus among a group of international experts regarding a core set of items that can be used to assess the quality of economic evaluations in systematic reviews. Using this checklist will make future systematic reviews of economic evaluations more transparent, informative, and comparable. Consequently, researchers and policy-makers might use these systematic reviews more easily. The CHEC-list can be downloaded freely from http://www.beoz.unimaas.nl/chec/.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                J Am Med Inform Assoc
                J Am Med Inform Assoc
                amiajnl
                jamia
                Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association : JAMIA
                BMJ Publishing Group (BMA House, Tavistock Square, London, WC1H 9JR )
                1067-5027
                1527-974X
                July 2013
                15 February 2013
                15 February 2013
                : 20
                : 4
                : 792-801
                Affiliations
                School of Health Information Science, University of Victoria , Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
                Author notes
                [Correspondence to ] Jesdeep Bassi, School of Health Information Science, University of Victoria, PO Box 3050 STN CSC, Victoria, BC, Canada V8W 3P5; jbassi@ 123456uvic.ca
                Article
                amiajnl-2012-001422
                10.1136/amiajnl-2012-001422
                3721162
                23416247
                6c2ca903-43fa-409a-ad1e-f895d0682c85
                Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://group.bmj.com/group/rights-licensing/permissions

                This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 3.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

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                Categories
                1506
                Focus on Human Factors and System Utilization
                Review
                Custom metadata
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                Bioinformatics & Computational biology
                health information technology,economic evaluation,value for money

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