Health Information Technology: Key to Quality Improvement

Health information technology, including interoperable electronic records, e-prescribing, physician order entry systems, and clinical decision support systems can reduce errors, improve coordination, and diminish administrative inefficiencies.  The RAND Corporation reports that properly implemented and widely adopted, HIT would save money and significantly improve health care quality. Annual savings from efficiency alone could be $77 billion or more, and health and safety benefits could double savings while reducing illness and prolonging life.1

Through immediate and efficient dissemination of new information, a national health care information infrastructure linking providers throughout the country could activate dynamic transformation of US health care into a nationwide learning system driving continuous improvement in quality, efficiency, and safety of care. The confidentially of personal medical information can and must be protected in the process of coordinating care and facilitating collaboration among providers using HIT.