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

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 2005

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

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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.

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