Health information technology (HIT) refers to any technology that enables the recording of and access to patient health information. HIT includes the use of electronic medical records to collect and store patient health information, as well as the technology and standards necessary for this information to be available to physicians at the point of care — regardless of where and when the information was originally collected.
Within our health care system there is great potential for improved efficiency, quality, and safety through the use of HIT. Adoption of HIT is an important building block to support preventive, predictive medicine and early disease intervention and to enable higher quality, more efficient health care.
The provisions of the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act (as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act) represent an unprecedented investment at the federal level in the development of a nationwide health information infrastructure. Policymakers, health care providers, HIT professionals, and various other stakeholders are striving to create a secure, interoperable electronic medical record (EMR) for every American.
To foster the evolution of personalized medicine through HIT: