To describe the trend in health information technology () systems adoption in hospital emergency departments (s) and its effect on efficiency and resource use.
2007–2010 National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey – Component.
We assessed changes in the percent of visits to s with health capability and the estimated effect on waiting time to see a provider, visit length, and resource use.
The percent of visits that took place in an with at least a basic health or an advanced system increased from 25.2 and 3.1 percent in 2007 to 69.1 and 30.6 percent in 2010, respectively ( < .05). Controlling for fixed effects, waiting times were reduced by 6.0 minutes in advanced ‐equipped s ( < .05), and the number of tests ordered increased by 9 percent ( < .01). In models using a 1‐year lag, advanced systems also showed an increase in the number of medications and images ordered per visit.
Almost a third of visits now occur in s with advanced capability. While advanced adoption may decrease wait times, resource use during visits may also increase depending on how long the system has been in place. We were not able to determine if these changes indicated more appropriate care.