252860 Health information technology and disparities in care: Improving the quality of data collection

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Meg Comins, MPA , Health Policy and Management, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL
Issue: Financial incentives promoting electronic health record (EHR) systems are expected to improve access to and provide better care to Americans. EHR systems have the capability of building a knowledge base for physicians to make clinical decisions for the best treatment of patients. This study analyzes prostate cancer patients in the state of Florida by ethnicity to determine if current data collection is conducive to decision support systems (DSS).Study design: Prostate cancer inpatients in the State of Florida for general acute care and specialty care hospitals were stratified by clinical, demographic and hospital characteristics. Groups were compared and z-scores were calculated on the number of observations showing costs for procedures without procedure code documentation between White and AA patients. Results: African Americans (AA) were more likely to have higher percentages of missing procedure codes than Whites in all categories except for those patients seen in specialty cancer hospitals, and those that were discharged to hospice care or died. Only 2.2% of White patients and no AA patients in specialty hospitals were missing codes. General acute care hospitals had missing codes for 15.6% of AA and 6.7% for White patients (z=11.5, p<.001). Recommendations: If treatment codes are consistently documented fewer times for AAs, best practices cannot properly be established for this population. General hospitals can learn lessons from the specialty cancer hospitals on assuring proper documentation of procedures to contribute to DSS.

Learning Areas:
Administration, management, leadership

Learning Objectives:
Demonstrate the importance of data collection for clinical decision making.

Keywords: Health Disparities, Information Technology

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I'm a student of public health with no conflict of interest.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.