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J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2010 Nov-Dec;17(6):637-45. doi: 10.1136/jamia.2010.004838.

A review on systematic reviews of health information system studies.

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School of Health Information Science, University of Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.


The purpose of this review is to consolidate existing evidence from published systematic reviews on health information system (HIS) evaluation studies to inform HIS practice and research. Fifty reviews published during 1994-2008 were selected for meta-level synthesis. These reviews covered five areas: medication management, preventive care, health conditions, data quality, and care process/outcome. After reconciliation for duplicates, 1276 HIS studies were arrived at as the non-overlapping corpus. On the basis of a subset of 287 controlled HIS studies, there is some evidence for improved quality of care, but in varying degrees across topic areas. For instance, 31/43 (72%) controlled HIS studies had positive results using preventive care reminders, mostly through guideline adherence such as immunization and health screening. Key factors that influence HIS success included having in-house systems, developers as users, integrated decision support and benchmark practices, and addressing such contextual issues as provider knowledge and perception, incentives, and legislation/policy.

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