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Do "Most Wired" Hospitals Deliver Better Care?

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Background: A study was conducted in 2006 to compare differences in objective quality of care measures among hospitals labeled "Most Wired"—a hospital or member-hospital of a health system listed among the Hospital and Health Network's Healthcare's Most Wired Hospitals for 2004—versus hospitals without that designation.

Methods: Ten quality indicators representing cardiac and pulmonary measures were calculated for adult hospitals participating in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Hospital Compare initiative. Performance of Most Wired hospitals and comparison hospitals was compared using t-tests. The association of the Most Wired designation to measures of care was assessed using multivariable linear regression and generalized estimating equations.

Results: Compared with comparison hospitals, Most Wired hospitals tend to be larger, not-for profit and teaching hospitals. Most Wired hospitals outperformed comparison hospitals in all but one quality indicator (p < .05). After adjustment, Most Wired hospitals were independently associated with better quality scores for only 2 out of 10 quality indicators. The Most Wired hospitals did not significantly underperform for any indicator.

Conclusion: Most Wired hospitals outperformed other hospitals on most objective quality of care measures. However, some of the results were significantly attenuated by other factors associated with quality, suggesting that for specific indicators, "Most Wired" may be a marker of overall quality more than an independent factor. More research is needed on how overall implementation of health information technology directly affects quality of care measures.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2007

More about this publication?
  • Published monthly, The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety is a peer-reviewed publication dedicated to providing health professionals with the information they need to promote the quality and safety of health care. The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety invites original manuscripts on the development, adaptation, and/or implementation of innovative thinking, strategies, and practices in improving quality and safety in health care. Case studies, program or project reports, reports of new methodologies or new applications of methodologies, research studies on the effectiveness of improvement interventions, and commentaries on issues and practices are all considered.

    Also known as Joint Commission Journal on Quality Improvement and Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Safety
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