Health Care Leader: IT Adoption Requires Behavior Change, Privacy Measures

November 20, 2006

Health IT improves the quality of care in large health care organizations that devote substantial funds to the IT systems, but adoption rates for some technologies remain low, according to Dr. Carolyn Clancy, director of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Health IT Strategist reports.

Clancy last week at a Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations conference in Chicago said that health IT systems such as computerized physician order entry are not always used because the facilities think they operate too slowly and inefficiently.

To change these trends, AHRQ is providing about $166 million to fund more than 125 health IT projects and demonstrations in 43 states, with a strong emphasis on rural areas, Clancy added.

She also said the implementation of health IT requires behavior change, and more research needs to be completed outside of the four main sources, which are:

  • The Department of Veterans Affairs;
  • Partners HealthCare, which is affiliated with the Harvard Medical School;
  • Intermountain Healthcare in Salt Lake City; and
  • The Regenstrief Institute in Indianapolis, which is affiliated with the Indiana University School of Medicine.

“Probably the most important issue here is privacy,” she said, adding that patients must be allowed to opt out of data-sharing systems, Health IT Strategist reports. The industry also needs standardization and interoperability, she said (Robeznieks, Health IT Strategist, 11/17).

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