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Measuring the Costs and Benefits of Health Care Information Technology: Six Case Studies

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Publication Date: September 2004

Publisher(s): California HealthCare Foundation

Author(s): David Troiana; Charles Shell; James Fisher

Topic: Health (Health services administration)

Type: Report

Abstract:

Health care executives are coming under increasing pressure to demonstrate the business value of every decision, including proposed investments in information technology (IT). However, delivering accurate numbers in support of a pure business case for health care IT is inherently difficult. Standard IT performance measurements assess the efficiency of specific functions such as data center and network management, but fail to capture some of the real value of IT in a health care environment. Health care executives need to evaluate and measure IT investments from a perspective that goes beyond financial performance to look at all the ways IT affects health care. To help provide that perspective, the California HealthCare Foundation (CHCF) commissioned PricewaterhouseCoopers to interview health care executives across the spectrum of the industry. PricewaterhouseCoopers conducted more than 20 interviews, including site visits to:

*Partners HealthCare (Boston, Mass.) *Northwestern Memorial Hospital (Chicago, Ill.) *St. Joseph Health System (Orange, Calif.) *Sharp HealthCare (San Diego, Calif.) *Sarasota Memorial Health Care System (Sarasota, Fla.) *Central Valley Health Network (Sacramento, Calif.)

These interviews yielded valuable insights into the IT decision process and how to make it a key part of an integrated financial and patient-safety improvement strategy. Readers may find the resulting summaries useful in discussions of how to plan for IT investments and gain the most value from IT capital budgets.