Federal Investment in Health Information Technology

How to Motivate It?

Published in: Health Affairs, v. 24, no. 5, Sep. 2005, p. 1263-1265

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 2005

by Anthony G. Bower

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Health care market failures include inefficient standard making, problems with coordination among local providers to optimize care, and inability to measure quality accurately, inexpensively, or reliably. Study of other industries suggests policy directions for health information technology and the magnitude of gains from improving market functioning, which are very large. A perspective drawn from U.S. industrial historyb7sin particular railroads and the interstate highway systemb7ssuggests an investment level roughly consistent with recent estimates drawn from the medical literature. The benefits of quick action probably outweigh the benefits of delaying and choosing the perfect funding mechanism.

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