Author Affiliations: Department of Health Policy and Management, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts.
Just over 3 years ago, President Obama signed the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, an unprecedented intervention by federal policymakers to change the way physicians and hospitals deliver health care. The motivation to move clinicians toward adoption of electronic health records (EHRs) was born of a clear need: it was time for the US health care system to transition from a 20th century, paper-based cottage industry into a technology-driven, efficient, 21st century system. The Act is complex, and many physicians likely remain confused about what HITECH is trying to accomplish and how it affects them.
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