Health Information Technology 


Health Information Technology (HIT) often refers to Electronic Healthcare Records or Digitizing Healthcare; however, definitions are endless and encompass a variety of processes. The focus of HIT is typically on software, hardware and infrastructure designed to collect, store, and exchange patient data. Unfortunately, HIT projects have a historical reputation of being chronically delayed, well over budget and exceedingly complex, as evidenced by numerous projects across the country and beyond. We have proven that better technology does not equate to better healthcare or better health outcomes. The mere existence of technology in healthcare will not translate into continuity in care, access to patient information, or meaningful system integration. The use of the system for the intended purpose will. Healthcare providers and patients need to see value in order to adopt a solution and incorporate technology into their daily practices.


The healthcare paradigm is shifting toward a patient-centered model, with a focus on health promotion, disease prevention and continuity of care. There is movement toward frontline clinician and patient involvement in HIT, which will importantly facilitate technology being driven by healthcare, rather than the reverse. HIT incorporating a clinical perspective offers meaningful insight into the relevance and supporting rationale surrounding HIT projects. Strategically implementing technology solutions that are tailored to healthcare needs, service delivery models, continuity of care and health outcomes are imperative. Incorporating clinical views and knowledge into HIT projects is a foundational element in the successful future of Health Information Technology.


Healthcare Driven Information Technology Includes an Understanding of


  • Healthcare Rationale for the Technology
  • Healthcare Business Case
  • Patient Perspectives
  • Healthcare Provider Perspectives
  • Grassroots Bottom-Up Project Planning
  • Policy & Strategic Alignment & Support
  • Incremental Project Approach
  • Measureable HIT Outcomes & Indicators of Success  

The following article highlights meaningful and timeless HIT lessons learned:

Rebryna, R. (2009). “EHR Arithmetic: Extracting Positives from Negatives. The Santa Barbara County Care Data Exchange Project”. Healthcare Quarterly 12(2) 118-121.