Most Wired….

I came across some interesting resources by the American Hospital Association (AHA). They run an annual survey of hospitals called “Health Care’s Most Wired“. The survey collects information on the use of ICTs by hospitals and creates a list of “most wired” hospitals in a variety of different categories. One of the main purposes of the survey is to identify best practices in addition to providing benchmarking information for each individual hospital.

Investing in ICTs

I found another interesting report from the main AHA site titled, “The value of investment in health care: Better care, better lives”. For hospitals trying to justify or rationalize investment in ICTs, this may be an interesting read.

Recently, I was sitting in a meeting and all of the participants were trying to come up with ways of justifying investing in ICTs to improve health care services. Some of the statements that were made got me thinking about the relationship (or causal pathway) of technology, process, and outcomes. One of the assumptions that we all seem to make is that increased use of ICTs lead to better outcomes (however loosely defined). My concern is that we are biased towards finding positive outcomes when in fact we haven’t really established any causal relationships. What we some evidence from studies like Most Wired and others that identify an association between good clinical performance in hospitals and the investment, adoption, and use of eHealth. How do we determine if this is a causal relationship?