Health IT (HIT)

Health IT (information technology) is the area of IT involving the design, development, creation, use and maintenance of information systems for the healthcare industry. Automated and interoperable healthcare information systems are expected to lower costs, improve efficiency and reduce error, while also providing better consumer care and service.

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What is health information technology (HIT)?

Health information technology (HIT) is the area of IT involving the design, development, creation, use and maintenance of information systems for the healthcare industry. Automated and interoperable healthcare information systems are expected to lower costs, improve efficiency and reduce error, while also providing better consumer care and service.

The electronic health record (EHR) is the central component of the health IT infrastructure. An EHR is an individual's official, digital health record and is shared among multiple facilities and agencies. The other essential elements of the HIT infrastructure are the electronic medical record (EMR), which is an individual's health record within a healthcare provider's facility; the personal health record (PHR), which is an individual's self-maintained health record; and a Regional Health Information Organization (RHIO), which oversees communications among the other elements and unifies them geographically.

Learn more:

Health IT adoption a hot topic at ONC meeting.

More than health IT adoption needed to improve quality of care.

Candid thoughts from physicians on health information technology

This was first published in May 2010

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