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Modernizing health information technology: lessons from healthcare delivery systems

Citation

Amlung, Joseph; Huth, Hannah; Cullen, Theresa; Sequist, Thomas (2022), Modernizing health information technology: lessons from healthcare delivery systems, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.1g1jwstsj

Abstract

Abstract Objective To identify recurrent themes, insights, and process recommendations from stakeholders in US organizations during the health information technology (HIT) modernization of an existing electronic health record (EHR) to a commercial-off-the-shelf product in both resource-plentiful settings and in a resource-constrained environment, the US Indian Health Service. Materials and Methods Thirteen qualitative interviews with stakeholders in various organizations were conducted about HIT modernization efforts. Using a Theory of Change framework, recurring themes were identified and analyzed. Results The interviewees emphasized the importance of organizational and process revision during modernization, converting historical data, and clinical and leadership involvement. HIT implementation required technological and infrastructure redesign, additional training, and workflow reconfiguration. Motivations for modernization included EHR usability dissatisfaction, revenue enhancements, and improved clinical operations. Decision-making strategies, primarily during HIT selection, included meetings with stakeholders. Successful modernization resulted in improvements in clinical operations, patient experience, and financial outlay. Discussion Existing implementation frameworks fail to provide experiential feedback, such as implementation challenges, like data conversion, regulatory, functionality, and interoperability requirements. Regardless of the healthcare environment, HIT modernization requires the engagement of leadership and end-users during HIT selection and through all stages of the implementation to prepare people, processes, and technology. Organizations must iteratively define the technological, infrastructure, organizational, and workflow changes required for a successful HIT modernization effort. Conclusions HIT modernization is an opportunity for organizational and technological change. Successful modernization requires a comprehensive, intentional, well-communicated, and multidisciplinary approach. Resource-constrained environments have the additional challenges of financial burdens, limited staffing, and unstable infrastructure.

Funding

Department of Health and Human Services, Award: 18-233-SOL-00773-RFQ1316210