This study investigated the utilization of health information technology (HIT) to enhance resource utilization in a geographically dispersed tertiary care system with extensive outpatient and delivery services. It was initiated as a result of a systems change implemented after Hurricane Ike devastated southeast Texas. A retrospective database and electronic medical record review was performed, which included data collection from all patients evaluated 18 months prior (epoch I) and 18 months following (epoch II) the landfall of Hurricane Ike. The months immediately following the storm were omitted from the analysis, allowing time to establish a new baseline. We analyzed a total of 21,201 patients evaluated in triage at the University of Texas Medical Branch. Epoch I consisted of 11,280 patients and epoch II consisted of 9922 patients. Using HIT, we were able to decrease the number of visits to triage while simultaneously managing more complex patients in the outpatient setting with no clinically significant change in maternal or fetal outcome. This study developed an innovated model of care using constrained resources while providing quality and safety to our patients without additional cost to the health care delivery system.
- electronic medical record
- health information technology
- systems change
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Obstetrics and Gynecology