Talk to the Veterans Crisis Line now
U.S. flag
An official website of the United States government

Health Services Research & Development

Go to the ORD website
Go to the QUERI website

HSR&D Citation Abstract

Search | Search by Center | Search by Source | Keywords in Title

Assessment of Health Information Technology-Related Outpatient Diagnostic Delays in the US Veterans Affairs Health Care System: A Qualitative Study of Aggregated Root Cause Analysis Data.

Powell L, Sittig DF, Chrouser K, Singh H. Assessment of Health Information Technology-Related Outpatient Diagnostic Delays in the US Veterans Affairs Health Care System: A Qualitative Study of Aggregated Root Cause Analysis Data. JAMA Network Open. 2020 Jun 1; 3(6):e206752.

Dimensions for VA is a web-based tool available to VA staff that enables detailed searches of published research and research projects.

If you have VA-Intranet access, click here for more information vaww.hsrd.research.va.gov/dimensions/

VA staff not currently on the VA network can access Dimensions by registering for an account using their VA email address.
   Search Dimensions for VA for this citation
* Don't have VA-internal network access or a VA email address? Try searching the free-to-the-public version of Dimensions



Abstract:

Importance: Diagnostic delay in the outpatient setting is an emerging safety priority that health information technology (HIT) should help address. However, diagnostic delays have persisted, and new safety concerns associated with the use of HIT have emerged. Objective: To analyze HIT-related outpatient diagnostic delays within a large, integrated health care system. Design, Setting, and Participants: This cohort study involved qualitative content analysis of safety concerns identified in aggregated root cause analysis (RCA) data related to HIT and outpatient diagnostic delays. The setting was the US Department of Veterans Affairs using all RCAs submitted to the Veterans Affairs (VA) National Center for Patient Safety from January 1, 2013, to July 31, 2018. Main Outcomes and Measures: Common themes associated with the role of HIT-related safety concerns were identified and categorized according to the Health IT Safety framework for measuring, monitoring, and improving HIT safety. This framework includes 3 related domains (ie, safe HIT, safe use of HIT, and using HIT to improve safety) situated within an 8-dimensional sociotechnical model accounting for interacting technical and nontechnical variables associated with safety. Hence, themes identified enhanced understanding of the sociotechnical context and domain of HIT safety involved. Results: Of 214 RCAs categorized by the terms delay and outpatient submitted during the study period, 88 were identified as involving diagnostic delays and HIT, from which 172 unique HIT-related safety concerns were extracted (mean [SD], 1.97 [1.53] per RCA). Most safety concerns (82.6% [142 of 172]) involved problems with safe use of HIT, predominantly sociotechnical factors associated with people, workflow and communication, and a poorly designed human-computer interface. Fewer safety concerns involved problems with safe HIT (14.5% [25 of 172]) or using HIT to improve safety (0.3% [5 of 172]). The following 5 key high-risk areas for diagnostic delays emerged: managing electronic health record inbox notifications and communication, clinicians gathering key diagnostic information, technical problems, data entry problems, and failure of a system to track test results. Conclusions and Relevance: This qualitative study of a national RCA data set suggests that interventions to reduce outpatient diagnostic delays could aim to improve test result management, interoperability, data visualization, and order entry, as well as to decrease information overload.





Questions about the HSR&D website? Email the Web Team.

Any health information on this website is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any condition.