Health Information Technology

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Book Chapter

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Health information technology (HIT) can facilitate significant improvements in the efficiency and effectiveness of health care in the United States. Many studies have demonstrated that effective HIT use is associated with improved preventive care, reduced complications, fewer adverse events and medical errors, decreased resource utilization, and lower health care costs. However, HIT must be implemented carefully and thoughtfully to produce these benefits.

The use of health information technology to manage care coordination has received increasing attention because of its capacity to help health care providers and teams meet the complex health care needs of people with chronic conditions. HIT can be used to establish and track care plans and patient goals, to provide resources for patient self-management, to facilitate communication, to manage populations, and to measure and improve quality. This chapter discusses the role of HIT in care coordination, reviews research on the efficacy of HIT systems for care coordination, and outlines specific HIT functions that support care coordination. These critical functions are: clinical summaries; structured, flexible assessments; self-management support; prioritization of clinical tasks and patient needs; and population management. These functions require robust system features that support targeted reminders and facilitate ongoing communication. Existing standards, implementation barriers and facilitators, and opportunities for practices to adopt these functions are also discussed.

Chapter of

Comprehensive Care Coordination for Chronically Ill Adults


Cheryl Schraeder
Paul S. Shelton

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