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Surgical Outcomes Club
November 2018

Leveraging Health Information Technologies to Support Surgical Practice

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Surgery, Vanderbilt University Medical Center and Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee
  • 2Department of Biomedical Informatics, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee
  • 3Department of Surgery, University Hospital, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, Columbus
  • 4Department of Biomedical Informatics, University Hospital, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, Columbus
  • 6Division of Colon and Rectal Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
  • 7Institute for Health Informatics, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
JAMA Surg. 2018;153(11):981-982. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2018.1978

Health information technologies (HITs) include a wide variety of tools used for the procurement, storage, processing, and sharing of health information and data. Health information technologies have evolved rapidly over the last several decades alongside advances in hardware, software, telecommunications, and data science capacities. In the last decade, the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health component of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act has provided financial incentives to promote the adoption of electronic health records (EHRs) and associated technologies through the Meaningful Use program, and consumer demand has driven the development and use of technologies to support patient access to health information, such as patient portals. Although such HITs are considered essential tools to support modern health care delivery, a recent systematic review1 identified a limited body of research evaluating the outcomes of HIT use in surgical practice. At its Thirteenth Annual Scientific Session on October 22, 2017, the Surgical Outcomes Club convened us as an expert panel to address the opportunities for innovation and improvement in surgical care through HITs. This Viewpoint summarizes our panel discussion about using HITs to measure surgical outcomes, meet consumer needs, and support learning health care systems (LHS).

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