Report Shows How Information Technology Is Bridging the Health Care Quality Gap

IT solutions featured support Institute of Medicine's Crossing the Quality Chasm report goals

How information technology is being used to improve the quality of clinical care in physician offices is the focus of a new report from the California HealthCare Foundation (CHCF).

Crossing the Chasm with Information Technology: Bridging the Quality Gap in Health Care, examines the ways currently available technology can support the goals of the Institute of Medicine’s influential report Crossing the Quality Chasm. The IOM authors concluded that information technology is one critical ingredient to improving quality and safety.

Prepared by the First Consulting Group, the report highlights applications that address:

  • Patient empowerment;
  • Making the care system reliable and safe;
  • Care relationships beyond the encounter; and
  • Public accountability for quality According to Thomas Lee, M.D., M.B.A., senior program officer at CHCF, “The report illustrates that there are examples of success among innovative pioneers who have chosen to use technology in combination with new care processes to begin crossing the quality chasm.”Among the many examples featured are an online personal health record offered to patients at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation; an online pre-visit intake assessment used by the Mayo Clinic; an electronic patient registry used by Group Health Cooperative of Puget Sound to identify and track patients with chronic diseases; and a software system being used by a University of California, San Diego endocrinologist that downloads blood glucose measurements from patients’ glucometers and permits tracking, trend display and analysis.

    “Our research clearly demonstrates that there are many kinds of information technologies available today that can be — and have been — used successfully to improve the quality of care, in accordance with the goals of the Institute of Medicine’s report,” said Peter Kilbridge, M.D., physician research director at First Consulting Group and author of the report.

    The report also discusses the challenge of introducing new technologies into an organization.

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About the California Health Care Foundation

The California Health Care Foundation is dedicated to advancing meaningful, measurable improvements in the way the health care delivery system provides care to the people of California, particularly those with low incomes and those whose needs are not well served by the status quo. We work to ensure that people have access to the care they need, when they need it, at a price they can afford.