International journal of medical informatics 2016 12 0598() 47-55 pii S1386-5056(16)30271-4
Electronic health records (EHR) are increasingly being adopted by healthcare systems worldwide. In France, the "Hôpital numérique 2012-2017" program was implemented as part of a strategic plan to modernize health information technology (HIT), including promotion of widespread EHR use. With significant upfront investment costs as well as ongoing operational expenses, it is important to assess this system in terms of its ability to result in improvements in hospital performances. The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of EHR use on the organizational performances of acute care hospital surgical units throughout France.
This retrospective study was based on data derived from three national databases for year the 2012: IPAQSS (Indicators of improvement in the quality and the management of healthcare, "IPAQSS"), Hospi-Diag (French hospital performance indicators), and the national accreditation database. National data and methodological support were provided by the French Ministry of Health (DGOS) and the French National Authority for Health (HAS). Multivariate linear models were used to assess four organizational performance indicators: the occupancy rate of surgical inpatient beds, operating room utilization, the activity per surgeon, and the activity per both nurse anesthetist and anesthesiologist which were dependent variables. Several independent variables were taken into account, including the degree of EHR use.
The models revealed a significant positive impact of EHR use on operating room utilization and bed occupancy rates for surgical inpatient units. No significant association was found between the activity per surgeon or the activity per nurse anesthetist and anesthesiologist with EHR use. All four organizational performance indicators were impacted by the type of hospital, the geographical region, and the severity of the pathologies.
We were able to verify the purported potential benefits of EHR use on the organizational performances of surgical units in French hospitals.