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Health Information Technology: Help or Hindrance?

Advances in Chronic Kidney Disease
Elsevier - WB Saunders
DOI: 10.1053/j.ackd.2014.02.014
  • Health Information Technology
  • Meaningful Use
  • Physician Quality Reporting System
  • Electronic Prescribing
  • Design
  • Medicine


The practice of medicine in general and nephrology in particular grows increasingly complex with each passing year. In parallel with this trend, the purchasers of health care are slowly shifting the reimbursement paradigm from one based on rewarding transactions, or work performed, to one that rewards value delivered. Within this context, the health-care value equation is broadly defined as quality divided by costs. Health information technology has been widely recognized as 1 of the foundations for delivering better care at lower costs. As the largest purchaser of health care in the world, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has deployed a series of interrelated programs designed to spur the adoption and utilization of health information technology. This review examines our known collective experience in the practice of nephrology to date with several of these programs and attempts to answer the following question: Is health information technology helping or hindering the delivery of value to the nation's health-care system? Through this review, it was concluded overall that the effect of health information technology appears positive; however, it cannot be objectively determined because of the infancy of its utilization in the practice of medicine.

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