Promoting Health Information Technology

Is There a Case for More-Aggressive Government Action?

Published in: Health Affairs, v. 24, no. 5, Sep./Oct. 2005, p. 1234-1245

by Roger Taylor, Anthony G. Bower, Federico Girosi, James H. Bigelow, Katya Fonkych, Richard Hillestad

Read More

Access further information on this document at Health Affairs

This article was published outside of RAND. The full text of the article can be found at the link above.

Health information technology (HIT) could save $81-$162 billion or more annually while greatly reducing morbidity and mortality. However, gaining these benefits requires broad adoption, effective implementation, and associated changes in health care processes and structures. The policy options that could speed the adoption of HIT and the realization of these benefits include incentives to promote standard-based electronic medical record (EMR) system adoption; subsidies to develop information-exchange networks; and programs to measure, report, and reward performance. Investments in these and other identified policy options should pay for themselves while also laying the foundation for needed transformation of the U.S. health care system.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation External publication series. Many RAND studies are published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, as chapters in commercial books, or as documents published by other organizations.

Our mission to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis is enabled through our core values of quality and objectivity and our unwavering commitment to the highest level of integrity and ethical behavior. To help ensure our research and analysis are rigorous, objective, and nonpartisan, we subject our research publications to a robust and exacting quality-assurance process; avoid both the appearance and reality of financial and other conflicts of interest through staff training, project screening, and a policy of mandatory disclosure; and pursue transparency in our research engagements through our commitment to the open publication of our research findings and recommendations, disclosure of the source of funding of published research, and policies to ensure intellectual independence. For more information, visit

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.