Information systems have been adopted in many fields, no less so in the health industry. Indeed, keeping abreast of the advances of the technological age, many medical organizations have invested heavily in information technologies (IT), aiming at improving medical decision-making and increasing its efficiency. Despite their obvious advantages, the systems do not always immediately provide the vital medical information required for critical decision-making, and the decisions that are based on this partial information may result in a decreased level of quality of care and unnecessary costs.

The objective of this research is to evaluate the contribution of IT to decision-makers (physicians) at the point of care of emergency departments (EDs) by investigating whether the information systems (IS) have improved the medical outcomes, in the complex and highly stressful environment of the ED, with time constraints and overcrowding.

We evaluated the contribution of the medical information to admission decisions by using two research methods: the track log-file analysis (with statistical tools) and an experimental study. The results were obtained using a unique database containing 3,219,910 referrals to the ED on seven main hospitals in Israel. Our results lead to the major conclusion that viewing medical history contributes to many clinical and admission decisions and clearly reduces the number of avoidable admissions.