Dr Wen Dombrowski Explains Ways Health IT Enhances Patient Outcomes

Health information technology not only gives providers easier access to a patient’s medical history and prior test results in a timely manner, but it allows patients to become more actively engaged in their care, explained Wen Dombrowski, MD, MBA.

Health information technology not only gives providers easier access to a patient’s medical history and prior test results in a timely manner, but it allows patients to become more actively engaged in their care, explained Wen Dombrowski, MD, MBA.

Transcript (slightly modified)

In what ways have you seen health technology change or enhance patient outcomes?

So I’ve seen how technology, especially information technology, has really helped clinicians at the point of care. So for example, having the patient’s medical history available, what are their diagnoses, prior test results, and medications? This is very, very beneficial to clinicians as they are treating patients.

And I think that it’s something that we shouldn’t take for granted because even only 10 years ago, or even 5 years ago, a lot of organizations had been on paper-based charts, where it was really almost impossible to trace the patient’s prior history.

And another benefit of health technology includes really involving patients more proactively. So, for example, the patients, they have the option of being able to look up their lab results, their test results and in some instances, they’re actually even able to see the medical records of what are their doctors writing about them. It’s a change that I’m seeing where before the patients would show up to a doctor’s office, and whatever happened to them happened to them, but now more and more patients are getting involved.

Thirdly, one of the other benefits I see of health technology, especially in the health information technology side, is that the patients themselves have access to more information, not just their own person information but as well as educational information, how to take care of themselves, how to be involved. And, one of the great things is that in addition to these information resources, because it’s become so readily available to have, whether its chat technology or video conferencing technology, more and more patients are able to access care easily, to either access their own doctors and nurses or to be able to access on-call and urgent care clinicians to address their questions.

And last but not least, I’d like to mention how, especially with the information technology, analytics really allows both healthcare providers and payers and other healthcare stakeholders to really understand their group of patients better. By drilling down into the data, you’re able to identify what are the different subsets of patients you have and analyze what are the types of interventions and outreaches that might be the most beneficial and impactful for those particular subsets. And then monitor the outcomes of the interventions and use the data for performance improvement and continual iterative improvement.