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June 27, 2012

Health Information Technology in the Era of Care Delivery ReformTo What End?

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Division of General Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts (Drs Bitton and Jha and Ms Flier); Department of Health Care Policy, Harvard Medical School, Boston (Dr Bitton); Department of Health Policy and Management, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston (Dr Jha); and VA Boston Healthcare System, Boston (Dr Jha).

JAMA. 2012;307(24):2593-2594. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.6663

The proper use of information technology in health care remains widely debated. The notion that health information technology (HIT) can improve care is not new: since the 1960s, HIT has been examined as a tool to aid diagnosis and archive medical records. Half a century later, academics and policy makers continue to debate whether HIT tools such as electronic health records (EHRs) will save money or improve care.1 Advocates point to many studies demonstrating the benefits of EHRs.2 Critics argue that the best data come from a few leading institutions with locally developed systems, whereas data from commercial products in nonleading institutions are equivocal.2

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