The impact of health information technology on organ transplant care: A systematic review

Zahra Niazkhani, Habibollah Pirnejad*, Parviz Rashidi Khazaee

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)
6 Downloads (Pure)


Background: Health Information Technology (HIT) has a potential to promote transplant care. However, a systematic appraisal on how HIT application has so far affected transplant care is greatly missing from the literature. We systematically reviewed trials that evaluated HIT impact on process and patient outcomes as well as costs in organ transplant care.Methods: A systematic search was conducted in OVID versions of MEDLINE, EMBASE, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), the Cochrane, and IEEE databases from January 1990 to December 2015. Studies were included if they: (i) evaluated HIT interventions; (ii) reported results for organ transplant population; (iii) reported quantitative data on process, patient, and cost outcomes; and (iv) used a randomized controlled trial or quasi-experimental study design.Results: Primarily, 12,440 publications were identified; from which ten met inclusion criteria. Among HIT systems, uses of clinical decision support systems (CDSS) targeting different aspects of the complex organ transplant care were common. In terms of process outcomes, HIT positively impacted the timeliness of care, laboratory and medication management practices such as promoting therapeutic or diagnostic protocol compliance by clinicians, and reducing medication errors. Regarding patient outcomes, HIT demonstrated a beneficial impact on the percentage of post-transplant patients with normal lab values and decreasing immunosuppressive toxicity and also deviation from the predefined immunosuppressive therapeutic window. However, in terms of mortality, readmission, rejection, and antiviral resistance rates, the impact was not clearly established in the literature. Finally, these systems were associated with savings in the costs of transplant care in three studies.Conclusion: This is the first study reviewing HIT impact on transplant care outcomes. CDSSs have mainly been reported to support transplant care in realizing the above-mentioned benefits. However, to make conclusions, more evidence with less risk of bias is warranted. Several gaps in the literature, including comparison of the impact of commercial systems in different transplant settings, was identified which can motivate future research. (C) 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-107
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Medical Informatics
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2017

Bibliographical note


This review was supported by Urmia University of Medical Sciences, Urmia, Iran (grant number 1394-01-40-2080). We certify
that the funding body did not have any role in the design of this
review, in the collection, analysis and interpretation of data, in the
writing of the review, and in the decision to submit the article for


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