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Health Information Technology and Accountable Care Organizations: A Systematic Review and Future Directions

Authors:

Casey P. Balio ,

Indiana University Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health, US
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Nate C. Apathy,

Indiana University Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health; Regenstrief Institute, US
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Robin L. Danek

Indiana University Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health; Indiana University School of Medicine, Terre Haute, Rural Medical Education Program, US
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Abstract

Background: Since the inception of Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), many have acknowledged the potential synergy between ACOs and health information technology (IT) in meeting quality and cost goals.

Objective: We conducted a systematic review of the literature in order to describe what research has been conducted at the intersection of health IT and ACOs and identify directions for future research.

Methods: We identified empirical studies discussing the use of health IT via PubMed search with subsequent snowball reference review. The type of health IT, how health IT was included in the study, use of theory, population, and findings were extracted from each study.

Results: Our search resulted in 32 studies describing the intersection of health IT and ACOs, mainly in the form of electronic health records and health information exchange. Studies were divided into three streams by purpose; those that considered health IT as a factor for ACO participation, health IT use by current ACOs, and ACO performance as a function of health IT capabilities. Although most studies found a positive association between health IT and ACO participation, studies that address the performance of ACOs in terms of their health IT capabilities show more mixed results.

Conclusions: In order to better understand this emerging relationship between health IT and ACO performance, we propose future research should consider more quasi-experimental studies, the use of theory, and merging health, quality, cost, and health IT use data across ACO member organizations.

How to Cite: Balio CP, Apathy NC, Danek RL. Health Information Technology and Accountable Care Organizations: A Systematic Review and Future Directions. eGEMs (Generating Evidence & Methods to improve patient outcomes). 2019;7(1):24. DOI: http://doi.org/10.5334/egems.261
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  Published on 08 Jul 2019

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