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Dixon BE, Hook JM, McGowan JJ, for AHRQ National Resource Center for Health IT. Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; December 2008. AHRQ Publication No. 09-0012-EF.
Telehealth is a rapidly expanding approach of adopting technology to deliver health care services and information that improves the quality, safety, access, efficiency, and costs of care. Although the evidence that telehealth achieves these aims is still lacking, this report outlines AHRQ's health information technology portfolio, which funded a number of programs to evaluate this promising technology and approach. The report findings are based on interviews with lead investigators. It discusses the scope of the projects funded, the technical challenges faced, the organizational and cultural issues encountered, and the opportunities ahead.
Journal Article > Study
Moore P, Armitage G, Wright J, Dobrzanski S, Ansari N, Hammond I, Scally A. J Patient Saf. 2011;7:147-153.
Achieving medication reconciliation continues to present significant challenges, despite existing guidelines and its demonstrated impact on patient safety. Electronic health records (EHRs) and related tools have long been touted as solutions to bolster reconciliation safety. This study evaluated whether an EHR shared between outpatient and inpatient providers could reduce suspected medication discrepancies. Although errors were reduced, significant discrepancies persisted among various forms of reconciliation, including differences between what was in the record and what patients actually reported taking. Problems included outdated or incomplete medication information, incorrect information provided by patients, or mismatched information between the different sources. The authors argue that EHRs, as an added information vehicle, may help reduce reconciliation errors, but they caution that EHRs are only a tool (and not in themselves a solution) for safer reconciliation. A past AHRQ WebM&M commentary discussed whose job it is to assure safe medication reconciliation.