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Informatics Research Seminar: Health IT and Patient Engagement in Hospitals

March 22, 2017 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm UTC+0

Speaker: Oghale Elijah Asagbra, PhD, MHA CPHQ
Presented from ECU

Broadcast Link: SEMINAR

The Informatics Research Seminar Series is sponsored by Duke University and a collaboration with UNC-Chapel Hill, NCCU, UNC-Charlotte, and ECU. This series explores key areas in Health Informatics and include research results, overview of programs of research, basic, applied, and evaluative projects, as well as research from varied epistemological stances.


The HITECH Act earmarked $30 billion to incentivize the meaningful use of EHR and technology, with engagement of patients and families in their health a core pillar. Although the academic literature to date has mostly focused on health information technologies (HIT), rather less attention has been paid to those functionalities necessary to engage patients and their implications on quality. The aim of this study was to explore the relationship between the number (breadth) of patient engagement functionalities offered through HIT to engage patients and the quality of their care. Data on hospital adoption of patient engagement functionalities were combined with quality data obtained from the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) Hospital Compare. Fixed effects regression models with a longitudinal panel sample of 1,463 hospitals (2012-2014) were used. It was hypothesized that the breadth of patient engagement functionalities offered will be positively and significantly associated to quality of care measured by patients’ perceptions of care and 30-day readmissions rates. This study revealed that there is a positive relationship between the breadth of functionalities offered (e.g., provide patients with an electronic copy of their discharge instructions and record, provide patient-specific education resources, and view and download their health/medical record) and patient perspective of care. The findings of this study indicate that more patients will have a better perception of hospitals that offer HIT with functionalities that engage patients. This study will potentially assist hospital administrators in their strategic deployment of resources to improve patient perceptions of quality. It allows them to evaluate how their investments may influence the overall quality of care they provide to their patients.   


O. Elijah Asagbra, PhD, MHA, CPHQ, is an assistant professor at the ECU College of Allied Health Sciences, Department of Health Services and Information Management. He received his PhD in Health Services Administration specializing in strategic management from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He is a certified professional in healthcare quality and holds a lean six sigma greenbelt for healthcare. His research interests intersect organizational structure and strategy, health information technology, and performance. He is especially interested in issues relating to hospital performance (quality and financial), information technology capabilities that facilitate patient engagement, and population health.