Health IT Evaluation Toolkit
This toolkit, which was designed to help project teams develop an evaluation plan of their health IT project, consists of three sections:
- Section I outlines a step-by-step process for a team to determine what the goals of a given project are, what is important to their stakeholders, what needs to be measured to satisfy those stakeholders, what is truly feasible to measure, and how to measure those items.
- Section II includes a list of measures that are often employed in health IT projects. Each of the provided tables includes a list of possible measures, suggestions on data sources that can be leveraged for each measure, cost considerations, potential pitfalls, and general notes.
- Section III contains some examples of a variety of implementation projects.
Health IT Evaluation Measures - Quick Reference Guides
The guides expand individually on some of the measures included in the Health IT Evaluation Toolkit and provide details about individual measures that can be incorporated into a health IT evaluation plan. Each guide includes a brief description of the measure, summary of current literature on the measure, measurement methodology, and study design and analysis considerations. The guides provide a starting point for evaluators in the development of an evaluation plan for a given measure.
- Impact of Health IT on Nurses' Time Spent on Direct Patient Care (PDF, 112 KB): Monitoring nurses' time spent on activities related to patient care allows organizations to measure whether the introduction of health information technology (IT) decreases administrative tasks, thereby potentially impacting nurse time spent on direct patient care.
- Improved Accuracy of Coding (PDF, 100 KB): Monitoring the use of current procedural terminology (CPT) codes can help organizations determine whether health information technology (health IT) improves coding accuracy and completeness by providing decision support for documentation activities.
- Length of Stay (PDF, 104 KB): This measure allows organizations to systematically assess the impact of implementing health IT with the intent to decrease inpatient length of stay (LOS).
- Medication Turnaround Time in the Inpatient Setting (PDF, 111 KB): Medication turnaround time is defined as the interval from the time a medication order is written (manually or electronically) to the time the medication was administered. Monitoring medication turnaround time in inpatient settings allows organizations to measure the impact of their health IT application on the increased efficiency of patient care.
- Patient Use of Secure Messaging (PDF, 122 KB): Monitoring the use of secure messaging by patients over time is one way to measure the success of the implementation of secure messaging functionality, which may be made available through a patient portal or a personal health record (PHR).
- Percentage of Alerts or Reminders That Resulted in Desired Action (PDF, 115 KB): Determining the frequency in which a given alert or reminder is executed may help assess its effectiveness.
- Prescribing Patterns of Preferred or Formulary Medications (PDF, 102 KB): Evaluating the prescribing patterns of preferred or formulary medications can help organizations determine whether health IT, in particular, electronic prescribing (e-prescribing) and computerized provider order entry (CPOE) systems with included formularies, impact the use of preferred or formulary medications.
- Percentage of Orders Entered by Authorized Providers Using CPOE (PDF, 107 KB): Monitoring who uses computerized provider order entry (CPOE) allows organizations to measure CPOE use by providers versus their proxies over time and is one way to evaluate the success of their implementation.
- Prescribing Patterns of Cost-Effective Drugs (PDF, 94 KB): Evaluating the costs of prescription drug expenditures can help organizations determine whether health IT, in particular, electronic prescribing and computerized provider order entry (CPOE) with clinical decision support, impact the use of cost-effective medications.
- Percentage of Verbal Orders (PDF, 94 KB): Monitoring the percentage of verbal orders allows organizations to measure the use of verbal ordering over time and whether that use is trending downward with the implementation of health IT, most commonly, computerized provider order entry (CPOE).
- Reduction in Hospital-Acquired Complications and Infections (PDF, 135 KB): Monitoring the number of hospital acquired complications and infections can help organizations determine whether health IT has impacted patient safety in hospital settings.