Health Care IT and Quality Health Care

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1.0 Introduction

The interpretation of quality health care varies with each person. Some place emphasis on the ability to access various treatments without interference. Others value the feature of being able to simply select one’s provider. Quality health care, according to the Institute of Medicine (2001), can be defined as care that is “safe, effective, patient-centered, timely, efficient and equitable” (p. 3). Furthermore, it should account for, in detail, a patient’s medical history, and improve overall patient well-being.
Unfortunately, the quality of health care in America is flawed. Information technology (IT) offers the potential to address the industry’s most pressing dilemmas: care fragmentation, medical errors, and rising costs. The leading example of this is the electronic health record (EHR). An EHR, as explained by (n.d.), is a digital version of a patient’s paper chart. It includes, but is not limited to, medical history, diagnoses, medications, and treatment plans. The EHR, then, serves as a resource that aids clinicians in decision-making by providing comprehensive patient information.
Though the benefits of IT are numerous, successful adoption into healthcare has been difficult. The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (2004) states, “barriers include the cost and complexity of IT implementation, which necessitates significant work process and cultural changes” (p. 158). These challenges, sadly, have resulted in a series of ineffective systems.
The forthcoming passages will illustrate initiatives and barriers to adopting health IT (HIT), as well as critical factors relating to successful adoption. The goal is to establish a realistic guide to increasing the possibility of successfu...

... middle of paper ... first-year EHR adoption, loss of physician productivity appeared to be the largest component, estimated at $101,250.

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