Health Information Technology

Health Information Technology (HIT) is the seamless and effective use of technology to capture, store and retrieve information regarding patients’ medical records from birth to death for the purpose of increasing the quality of care as well as reducing the cost of healthcare in the USA.

Health IT makes it possible for health care providers to better manage patient care through secure and real time access and sharing of health information electronically, rather than through paper medical records to maintain people’s health information.

The Electronic Health Record (EHR) is a comprehensive, longitudinal record of an individual’s health history throughout their life that can be created, managed, and consulted by authorized clinicians and staff across all health care organizations. EHR is patient-focused in that it is not limited by what a single provider can accumulate on behalf of a patient. Through the capabilities of interoperability, an EHR becomes an authorized means to access information from any medical source that has chronicled the health care experience of a patient over time.

In 2004, United States President George Bush called for most Americans to have electronic health records by 2014. The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act seeks to improve American health care delivery and patient care through an unprecedented investment in health information technology.

In 2009, the US government’s American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA), a federal “stimulus package”, designated over 19 billion dollars for HIT spending and EHR implementation. The federal government has mandated the use of EHR by doctors and hospitals in a bid to improve the quality of healthcare delivery, enhance efficiencies, and reduce costs, thus fueling the tremendous growth potential of this industry.