The association between patient engagement HIT functionalities and quality of care: Does more mean better?


Objective: To explore the relationship between the number (breadth) of patient engagement functionalities offered through health information technology (HIT) by hospitals and the hospitals’ quality of care. Methods: Data on hospital adoption of patient engagement functionalities were combined with quality data obtained from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Hospital Compare. Fixed effects regression models were used to analyze a panel data consisting 1,463 hospitals from 2012 to 2014. Results: This study revealed a significant positive relationship between the breadth of patient engagement functionalities and patient satisfaction (β = 0.126, p < 0.05). The number of functionalities was also found to be negatively associated with 30-day readmission rates for myocardial infarction (β= −0.085, p < 0.05), heart failure (β= −0.109, p < 0.05), and pneumonia (β= −0.048, p < 0.05). Discussion: The breadth of functionalities offered by hospitals to engage patients was a significant factor in decreasing hospital 30-day readmission rates for pneumonia, acute myocardial infarction, and heart failure, and also influenced patients’ perception of the hospital. Conclusions: The findings suggest that hospitals with more patient engagement HIT functionalities are likely to have higher patient satisfaction and lower readmission rates for infarction, heart failure, and pneumonia. This study will potentially assist hospital administrators to justify their strategic deployment of HIT resources to improve both perceived and actual care quality.

Publication Title

International Journal of Medical Informatics