Health Information Access Critical to Effective Patient Care, Success Under Reform

The Advisory Board Company experts, Adams and Kleinberg find most hospitals need access to an increasing flow of emerging clinical knowledge

WASHINGTON, Dec. 2, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- Current health reform efforts focus on reducing waste and aligning incentives, but just touch upon the critical science of care delivery, say Jim Adams and Kenneth A. Kleinberg, two lead researchers who joined The Advisory Board Company in June.

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Adams and Kleinberg believe that U.S. health care providers can significantly improve overall quality and reduce costs, but that doing so will require expanded Health Care Information Technology (HIT).  Both see evidence-based care as essential to an effective Accountable Care Organization (ACO) and point out that it will take increased IT "connectedness" and more robust data infrastructure to drive the migration to integrated care and judicious use of best evidence in decision-making.

"To improve care delivery and reduce costs we must get the best available evidence to physicians at precisely the point and time it is needed," says Adams, a Managing Director with The Advisory Board Company.  "HIT systems must deliver both data on the comparative effectiveness of treatments and comprehensive information on the individual patient's health.  We are a long way from meeting the challenge.  Less than 18% of U.S. hospitals have deployed the IT infrastructure needed to realize the benefits of reform, as measured by the HIMSS Analytics EMR Adoption Model(SM)."

Kleinberg, a Senior Research Director with The Advisory Board Company, adds, "No physician wants to make patient care decisions without the support of evidence-based data.  But it happens because it is nearly impossible to keep up with the inundating flow of new clinical information.  There is an immediate need for investment of human and financial capital into decision support systems that integrate patient and clinical information in a coordinated fashion."

Adams notes, "Health leaders need to instill a sense of urgency around this issue.  New IT platforms and access to clinical knowledge are critical to real health reform.  That is how we will create true value and accountability, measuring every provider and service on their ability to lower costs and improve outcomes.  As ACOs begin to assume cost risk for care delivery, they will have an urgent need to know which treatments work and which do not for the patient's given segment of the general population."  

Industry analysts Adams and Kleinberg, leaders in The Advisory Board Company's IT practice, are researching how organizations can best overcome the financial, technological, and behavioral barriers on the path to HIT-supported, personalized health care.

The pair has over 60 years of experience in business IT strategy, with more than half of it in IT.  Adams previously held senior leadership positions with IBM, HealthLink and Gartner.  Kleinberg held senior leadership positions with Allscripts, Gartner, Motorola (via Symbol), and Health Language.  Leadership for the Advisory Board's IT practice also includes two industry experts, Executive Director David E. Garets and Managing Director Michael W. Davis.  

About The Advisory Board Company's IT Practice

Hospitals and health systems now face mounting regulatory and market pressures to reach the full potential of their IT system investments and drive broad performance improvement for their institutions.  The membership programs in The Advisory Board Company's IT practice support the critical partnership between IT leaders and other senior executives that is required in order to develop the sound IT strategies and governance (and to execute the strong IT implementations) that will improve care delivery.  Through innovative services, the programs enable hospital and health systems to improve technology adoption by physicians and other important stakeholders, leverage the technology to impact care delivery, and drive continued value from IT investments.  The practice's memberships, the IT Strategy Council and the Applications and Technologies Collaborative, are unique in their ability to drive senior executive collaboration on using IT to support business and clinical functions.  For more information, visit

About The Advisory Board Company

The Advisory Board Company is a leading provider of comprehensive performance improvement services to the health care and education sectors – including operational best practices and insights, technology solutions, leadership development, and consulting and management support.  Drawing on nearly three decades of experience, The Advisory Board Company is privileged to serve a membership of nearly 3,000 organizations, all sharing a charter "above commerce," a commitment to best-practice standards, and an unyielding insistence on continual improvement.  For more information, visit

SOURCE The Advisory Board Company