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PwC: Health Organizations Count on Clinical Informatics to Improve Patient Health and Reduce Healthcare Costs

March 16, 2012

Clinical informatics may hold the key to better population health and a reduction of the healthcare costs in the United States if health organizations can use it to engage patients in managing their own health.

A report by PwC US Health Research Institute (HRI) suggests that health organizations view clinical informatics – the integration of information technology into healthcare – as paramount to their financial success and ability to effectively and affordably manage patient care and wellness.

While improved patient care and safety is a top goal of their clinical informatics efforts, few health organizations have found ways of using health information to engage patients in managing their own health. A recent PwC HRI survey of more than 600 health management professionals across the country found:

Only 15 percent of health insurers and 13 percent of hospitals, physicians groups and other providers believe they have been able to successfully influence patient behavior through their informatics efforts.

Nearly eight in 10 providers (79 percent) are looking to clinical informatics to help reduce medical errors, 61 percent hope to use it to improve population health, and 52 percent hope it will help them reduce costs by involving patients in preventative care routines.

Eighty-five percent of health insurers are counting on clinical informatics to improve management of complex cases such as care for patients diagnosed with cancer, 80 percent are seeking a reduction in preventable emergency room visits and hospital readmission rates, and 56 percent hope that findings from their clinical informatics programs will lead to earlier diagnosis and prevention.

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