While there is an abundance of literature on the positive attributes of HIT towards improvinghealthcare quality, efficiency, cost effectiveness and other issues in specific clinical settings,there is an apparent scarcity of data on
UC’s related to HIT. Safety is unproven byimpartial, methodological study and the true risk/benefit ratio is unknown.
A number of recent indicators for scarcity of UC information were compiled and possiblereasons described. Examples of suboptimal adverse results disclosures in related domains (e.g.,the pharmaceutical industry) that may hold lessons for HIT were included. A number of tacticsfor remediation of HIT UC information scarcity are suggested that are practicable at the level of the individual researcher and clinician, as well as at the policy-making level.
3. Results3.1 Recent indicators of scarcity of detailed, comprehensive UC information in HIT
UC information diffusion (as well as other information that could place HIT in a negative lightsuch as implementation conflicts and failures) seems muted. Published information appearsspotty compared to other technological domains and detailed, comprehensive statistics and casedetail appear uncommon.HIT is an unregulated industry. There are no federal databases to turn to regarding HIT UC’s,nor is there a commercial source of comprehensive information.The Joint Commission recently reported in a Sentinel Events Alert
that “as healthinformation technology (HIT) and converging technologies—the interrelationship betweenmedical devices and HIT—are increasingly adopted by health care organizations, users must bemindful of the safety risks and preventable adverse events that these implementations can createor perpetuate …
There is a dearth of data on the incidence of adverse events directly causedby HIT overall
The Joint Commission did state that there was some known data on HIT adverse events relatedspecifically to pharmaceuticals. The JC reported that the United States PharmacopeiaMEDMARX database  included 176,409 medication error records for 2006, of which 1.25 percent resulted in harm. Of those medication error records, 43,372, or approximately 25 percent,involved some aspect of computer technology such as information management systems,confusing displays and software. Lack of other sources of HIT UC information, however, led tothe overall statement about a dearth of data.A longitudinal citation analysis conducted across a significant portion of the Medical Informatics periodical literature from 1994-2005, focusing on the identification of strings (linear citation patterns) and networks (multi- branched citation patterns) of highly cited MI-related articlesindexed in the Web of Science, demonstrated an interesting pattern. The temporal strings are