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The Impact of Health Information Technology Adoption by Outpatient Facilities on Pregnancy Outcomes

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Keywords: HIT; spillovers; learning; nonhospital facilities; pregnancy

Objective: Examine whether health information technology (HIT) at nonhospital facilities (NHFs) improves health outcomes and decreases resource use at hospitals within the same heath care network, and whether the impact of HIT varies as providers gain experience using the technologies.

Data Sources: Administrative claims data on 491,832 births in Pennsylvania during 1998–2004 from the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council and HIT applications data from the Dorenfest Institute.

Study Design: Fixed-effects regression analysis of the impact of HIT at NHFs on adverse birth outcomes and resource use.

Principal Findings: Greater use of clinical HIT applications by NHFs is associated with reduced incidence of obstetric trauma and preventable complications, as well as longer lengths of stay. In addition, the beneficial effects of HIT increase the longer that technologies have been in use. However, we find no consistent evidence on whether or how nonclinical HIT in NHFs affects either resource use or health outcomes.

Conclusions: Clinical HIT applications at NHFs may reduce the likelihood of adverse birth outcomes, particularly after physicians and staff gain experience using the technologies.

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