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A Novel Survey to Examine the Relationship between Health IT Adoption and Nurse-Physician Communication

Journal: Applied Clinical Informatics
ISSN: 1869-0327
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4338/ACI-2016-08-RA-0145
Issue: Vol. 7: Issue 4 2016
Pages: 1182-1201

A Novel Survey to Examine the Relationship between Health IT Adoption and Nurse-Physician Communication

Research Article

A. J. Holmgren (1, 2), E. Pfeifer (1, 2), M. Manojlovich (3), J. Adler-Milstein (1, 2)

(1) School of Information, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI; (2) School of Public Health, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI; (3) School of Nursing, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI

Keywords

Hospital Information Systems, Communication, Electronic health records and systems, inpatient CPOE, provider-provider

Summary

Background: As EHR adoption in US hospitals becomes ubiquitous, a wide range of IT options are theoretically available to facilitate physician-nurse communication, but we know little about the adoption rate of specific technologies or the impact of their use.

Objectives: To measure adoption of hardware, software, and telephony relevant to nurse-physician communication in US hospitals. To assess the relationship between non-IT communication practices and hardware, software, and telephony adoption. To identify hospital characteristics associated with greater adoption of hardware, software, telephony, and non-IT communication practices.

Methods: We conducted a survey of 105 hospitals in the National Nursing Practice Network. The survey captured adoption of hardware, software, and telephony to support nurse-physician communication, along with non-IT communication practices. We calculated descriptive statistics and then created four indices, one for each category, by scoring degree of adoption of technologies or practices within each category. Next, we examined correlations between the three technology indices and the non-IT communication practices index. We used multivariate OLS regression to assess whether certain types of hospitals had higher index scores.

Results: The majority of hospitals surveyed have a range of hardware, software, and telephony tools available to support nurse-physician communication; we found substantial heterogeneity across hospitals in non-IT communication practices. More intensive non-IT communication was associated with greater adoption of software (r=0.31, p=0.01), but was not correlated with hardware or telephony. Medium-sized hospitals had lower adoption of software (r =-1.14,p=0.04) in comparison to small hospitals, while federally-owned hospitals had lower software (r=-2.57, p=0.02) and hardware adoption (r=-1.63, p=0.01).

Conclusions: The positive relationship between non-IT communication and level of software adoption suggests that there is a complementary, rather than substitutive, relationship. Our results suggest that some technologies with the potential to further enhance communication, such as CPOE and secure messaging, are not being utilized to their full potential in many hospitals.

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