A new report issued by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) suggests electronically exchanging health information may reduce duplicative laboratory and radiology testing, lower emergency department costs, reduce hospital admissions, improve public health reporting, increase ambulatory quality of care, and improve disability claims processing. The electronic exchange of health information has increased over time and is used most in hospitals, the report shows. However, electronically exchanging health information remains low overall. The full impact of electronically exchanging health information on patient outcomes needs additional research, according to the recent systematic review done by AHRQ. To advance our understanding of how to better exchange health information electronically, future studies need to address comprehensive questions, use more rigorous designs, and be part of a coordinated, systematic approach to studying the electronic exchange of health information.
Access the full systematic review: http://www.effectivehealthcare.ahrq.gov/search-for-guides-reviews-and-reports/?pageaction=displayproduct&productID=2154