Brookings Institution study of HIE use in emergency department reveals significant reduction in laboratory tests and radiology exams
May 2015 – Researchers at the Brookings Institution in cooperation with HEALTHeLINK, conducted a pilot study to examine the impact of the use of health information exchange (HIE) technology on reducing laboratory tests and radiology examinations in emergency departments (EDs) at three area hospitals. The results of the pilot, which were recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association and the Center for Technology Innovation at Brookings, show a significant reduction in the duplication of tests. According to study results, querying HEALTHeLINK’s HIE in the ED setting resulted in a reduction in ordering of laboratory tests and radiology exams.
- In the first ED setting, accessing patients’ information within HEALTHeLINK, led to a 52% reduction in the estimated number of laboratory tests and a 36% reduction in the estimated number of radiology exams.
- In the second ED setting, having clinically relevant patient information resulted in a 25% and 26% reduction in the estimated number of laboratory tests and radiology exams.
- Finally, the third ED setting was associated with a 47% reduction in the estimated number of radiology exams. Querying the HIE in this setting did not affect the total number of laboratory orders as patients were being seen for cardiac and neurovascular issues which require new laboratory tests regardless of past results.
Study of duplicate CT scans show promise of health information exchange
February 2014 – HEALTHeLINK recently conducted an analysis of the number of multiple computed tomography (CT) scans ordered for the same patient and on the same body part within six months utilizing clinical data available within its HIE. Some of HEALTHeLINK’S key findings include:
- Approximately 90% of the 2,763 potentially unnecessary duplicative CT scans were ordered by physicians who either never or infrequently used HEALTHeLINK.
- About 50% of the patients who had a duplicative CT scan had already consented to have their information accessed through HEALTHeLINK by their treating providers.
- More than 95% of the identified potentially unnecessary CT scans were done in a hospital setting.
- The lost opportunity to utilize HEALTHeLINK before ordering a CT scan could have resulted in savings in the health system of approximately $1.3 million.