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The Purposes of Health Information Technology

For decades now, health information technology has been transforming clinical and business practices in health care. While certain information systems, such as those for billing, are widespread, other valuable applications are taking longer to become adopted throughout the industry.For this Discussion, you will appraise the benefits of health information technology in health care.

Prepare for this Discussion as follows:

  • In light of this week’s Learning Resources, what do you think are significant benefits of health information technology for health care providers, organizations, and patients?
  • Identify specific problems facing health care organizations that were not explicitly discussed in the readings that might also be alleviated through better or more extensive use of technology. Bring to mind both clinical and administrative problems. To help you identify these, review your textbooks from past courses and reflect on your own experiences in the health care as an employee or patient.
  • Do further research, as needed, to locate examples of health information technology being used to address at least one clinical and one administrative problem you identified.
  • Briefly summarize key benefits of health information technology for health care providers, organizations, and patients.
  • Describe two problems arising in health care settings—one clinical and one administrative—that can be alleviated through health information technology. (Do not select problems explicitly discussed in this week’s readings.)
  • Discuss specific examples of technology being used to address these challenges. What are the situations and settings in which this technology would be particularly valuable? Provide a rationale for your response.
  • Web Article: Principles and Strategy for Accelerating Health Information Exchange (HIE). Retrieved from http://www.healthit.gov/ sites/default/files/acceleratinghieprinciples_strategy.pdf
  • Web Article: Dr Karen B. DeSalvo Discusses the Promise and Power of HIT in the Realm of Public Health. Retrieved from http://www.ajmc.com/ajmc-tv/interviews/ Dr-Karen-B-DeSalvo-Discusses-the-Promise-and-Power-of-HIT-in-the-Realm-of-Public-Health
  • Web Report: Park, T., & Basch, P. (2009). A historic opportunity: Wedding health information technology to care delivery innovation and provider payment reform. Retrieved from Center of American Progress: http://cdn.americanprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/issues/2009/05/pdf/health_it.pdf

This report examines the increasing role of health information technology in the innovation and reform of the U.S. health care delivery system.


  • Website: healthit.gov: Home

    This health IT portal, managed by the U.S. Department of Health and Humans Services, is designed to be a centralized web resource for citizens, health care consumers, health providers, and organizations with an interest in health information technology.

  • Website: AHIMA—American Health Information Management Association

    The American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) is the premier association of health information management professionals.

  • Website: HIMSS (Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society)

    HIMSS is the largest professional informatics-focused society and represents informaticians and organizations world wide.

Optional Resources

  • News Article: Buckelew, K. (2006, February 24). To improve care, cut costs, health care providers coming together. The Daily Record. Retrieved from http://ezp.waldenulibrary.org/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=bwh&AN=L54157809DRMD&site=ehost-live&scope=site
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