Head to Toe, Health IT Exposed

For gearheads and policy wonks who quiver at the mention of health IT (and you know who you are), your <a href="http://www.healthaffairs.org/1500_about_journal.php">"swimsuit issue"</a> hits stands today. That's right, the entire issue of Health Affairs magazine is devoted to ... wait for it ... glistening full-body coverage of the "benefits and limitations of electronic health record systems."

For gearheads and policy wonks who quiver at the mention of health IT (and you know who you are), your "swimsuit issue" hits stands today. The entire issue of Health Affairs magazine is devoted to ... wait for it ... glistening full-body coverage of the "benefits and limitations of electronic health record systems."

The entire magazine!

The April issue of Health Affairs "explores what has happened since passage in the stimulus package of the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH) and the challenges that lie ahead."

Teaser alert:

  • Wise investment in health IT could yield significant benefits.
  • The first national coordinator for health information technology, David J. Brailer, interviews the current coordinator, David Blumenthal, on the pace of progress and the issues ahead.
  • Adoption of health IT is not a magic bullet for improving quality, two national studies found. A lot may depend on how health IT is implemented and the environment in which it is implemented.
  • Use of EHRs and computerized physician order entry improved quality for some measures and greater quality improvements in academic hospitals than nonacademic hospitals.
  • The transition to paperless health records is not only complex, it's often a struggle.
  • Despite efforts to increase health IT adoption among physician practices, barriers remain.
  • Even with health IT support, hospitals vary widely in their ability to prevent medication errors.