Using Health IT in Practice Redesign: Impact of Health IT on Workflow
With the growth in the use of health information technology (IT) to capture patient reporting of medical histories and other information, the need to understand the efficiency of the health IT workflow has become increasing vital. To that end, Abt Associates is conducting a study in collaboration with the University of Wisconsin to examine the influence of sociotechnical factors — for clinicians and their office staff, and for patients — in capturing and using patient-reported information in ambulatory health IT systems and associated workflows. This study for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality involves examining factors that contribute to delays in the workflow process including unnecessary or duplicative steps, role ambiguity, missing information, and lack of data quality controls. Among the sociotechnical factors that the Abt team will explore are: patient and provider characteristics; physical environment and layout; technical training and support; staff workload, stress and job satisfaction; and workflow communication. The three-year study consists of rigorous mixed-methods case studies of six ambulatory care physician practices, including three small practices and three medium-sized practices.