Implementation and Adoption of Health Information Technology

Health care in the U.S. has been steadily improving, but it’s still not where it needs to be.

In order for the U.S. to reach its full potential and achieve universal health care, there are several barriers that need to be addressed.

One of those barriers is the lack of implementation of Health Information Technology (HIT).

Health care has become more digital over the last decade as vendors continue to develop innovative solutions and applications to make care more convenient, accessible, and affordable for everyone.

As digitization continues to advance in other industries as well, it makes sense that this would also happen within our health care system as well.

With an ever-increasing number of patients, providers, payers,

and other stakeholders entering into a closer relationship with their healthcare institutions on a daily basis through various digital channels,

there is a growing demand for Health IT within the U.S. health system as a whole.

What Is Health Information Technology?

Health Information Technology refers to technology that helps healthcare providers, patients, and payers in healthcare institutions enable and support the exchange of health information.

What Is Health Information Technology?

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These technologies, which can include electronic health records, electronic health care transactions, and data security and governance,

enable the exchange of data between these stakeholders within an organization and with external partners.
Health Information Technology is therefore the concept of enabling and supporting the exchange of health information within an organization between different stakeholders.

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As such, HIT is more of an abstract concept than the more concrete term that “health IT” is often used.

Why Is Health Information Technology Important?

With more than 300 million people in the U.S. lacking health insurance and many more uninsured Americans struggling to get the medical care they need, more people than ever are encountering health issues.

This trend is expected to continue, presenting a significant opportunity for the U.S. healthcare system to improve its access and quality of care.

With the rise of chronic health issues like diabetes and obesity, the growing aging population, and an increase in the use of medical innovation,

healthcare providers are faced with a growing number of health care issues. As a result, there is an increased demand for health IT implementations to improve both the access and quality of care.

With more people experiencing health issues, there is a greater need for providers to be able to effectively manage chronic diseases and offer access to new and advanced treatments.

Implications of Not Implementing Health IT

Simply put, without a robust health IT infrastructure, the U.S. healthcare system will continue to struggle with issues of access and quality of care.

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The best-case scenario for those implementing health IT is that it will reduce the negative impact of the growing number of health issues.

It will help increase access to healthcare services for the uninsured population and underserved communities,
help improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the U.S. healthcare system, and enhance security of sensitive patient data.

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Importance of Adoption Process for Health IT

While many see the adoption process as a barrier to implementing HIT, it can actually be a key enabler of progress in the health IT space. As the popularity of health IT grows,

so too does the need for more and more vendors to create software that meets the unique requirements of different stakeholders.

With this increased demand, vendors have an opportunity to differentiate themselves by providing more functionality and features than their competitors. However, many vendors fall short of what’s needed to truly meet the needs of the market.

To combat this, some health IT vendors have implemented programs to encourage adoption across the health IT ecosystem.

Key Implementation Challenges in Health IT System

With the rise of health IT comes a rise in the demand for health IT systems.

However, this increase in demand has not been matched with an increase in the supply of qualified professionals to support the growing health IT system infrastructure.

To combat this shortage, some health IT vendors have implemented programs to encourage adoption across the health IT ecosystem.

As the demand for health IT increases, so too does the complexity and importance of ensuring that the quality of the systems being implemented is up to par.

This is an important factor because issues with the quality of health IT systems can have far-reaching implications, often disrupting the flow of health information across the entire health system.

Bottom Line

The implementation of health IT has the potential to significantly improve the healthcare system both in terms of access to care and the quality of care provided.

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However, due to challenges with adopting and implementing HIT, there are still significant challenges for the healthcare system in this area.

To fully capitalize on the potential of health IT, the U.S. healthcare system needs to overcome these challenges.

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