Costs and Benefits of Health Information Technology

New Trends from the Literature

Published In: Health Affairs, v. 28, no. 2, Mar./Apr. 2009, p. w282-w293

Posted on RAND.org on December 31, 2008

by Caroline Lubick-Goldzweig, Ali Towfigh, Margaret A. Maglione, Paul G. Shekelle

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To understand what is new in health information technology (IT), the authors updated a systematic review of health IT with studies published during 2004-2007. From 4,683 titles, 179 met inclusion criteria. They identified a proliferation of patient-focused applications although little formal evaluation in this area; more descriptions of commercial electronic health records (EHRs) and health IT systems designed to run independently from EHRs; and proportionately fewer relevant studies from the health IT leaders. Accelerating the adoption of health IT will require greater public-private partnerships, new policies to address the misalignment of financial incentives, and a more robust evidence base regarding IT implementation.

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