Massachusetts eHealth Institute (MeHI)” is the designated state agency for promoting Health IT innovation, technology and competitiveness to improve the safety, quality and efficiency of health care.” MeHI needed information on adoption of and attitudes towards Health Information Technology (HIT) to plan policies and initiatives to address that mission. To meet this need Market Decisions Research designed and implemented one of the most comprehensive studies of HIT in the nation. After reviewing previously used survey questions and conducting a series of interviews with key stakeholders, three separate data gathering efforts were undertaken using mail, online and telephone surveys. Three different populations were surveyed to provide information from the most important users of HIT:
Over 500 practice managers
More than 300 health care physicians and providers
Some 800 individual consumers
This research provided a comprehensive view of the ways that eHealth and Health Information Technology was being used and how it was perceived by consumers and health care providers in various care settings. HIT was being widely used in hospitals and primary care practices. However, some types of practices such behavioral health, specialty providers long-term care, post-acute care and others were much less likely to have adopted and used HIT. Both barriers and opportunities for increased adoption and use were identified.
Even in practices where HIT was in place, it was not fully used. The study found a high level of consumer enthusiasm for HIT. Which could encourage more reluctant health care providers to use all the tools that HIT offers. Full-use can improve patient satisfaction, improve population health and lower healthcare costs.
Members of MDR staff joined MeHI Director, Laurence Stuntz, key health officials, and former Massachusetts Senate President, Therese Murray, to release the report in the historic Great Hall of the Massachusetts State House.
At the release, Sen. Murray emphasized the need for such research,
“Health information technologies have significant potential to drive down health care costs, resulting in savings for the entire Commonwealth. This report by MeHI points to the progress we have made in implementing technologies like electronic health records and the Health Information Exchange as well as facilitates an important discussion on how we can continue our success in the future.”
Brian Robertson PhD, Vice President Research and study director, noted that,
“This was a complex nine-month study that demonstrates our ability to collect data from hard to reach health care respondents and to present complicated data clearly and in a way that invites action. We are pleased to be MeHI’s partner for this research.”
Findings are being utilized to continue the adoption of health IT. Particularly in behavioral health care and long-term and post-acute care
Demonstrates the ability of Market Decisions Research collect data from hard to reach health care respondents
Builds on MDR’s other HIT Research in Vermont (5 studies) and Michigan.