Extracting value from chaos: The promise of health information technology

IU School of Medicine

IU School of Medicine

• 2/29/16

INDIANAPOLIS — Expectations for health information technology abound. A paper from the Regenstrief Institute takes a sweeping look at a variety of categories of health IT including electronic medical records; health information exchange; telemedicine; patient portals and personal health records; mobile devices, wearable sensors and monitors; and social media. The authors evaluate current use of these technologies, detail their potential and discuss barriers that must be overcome to fulfill their promise of improving health.
“The Promise of Information and Communication Technology in Healthcare: Extracting Value from the Chaos” by Regenstrief Institute investigator Burke Mamlin, M.D., and former institute president William Tierney, M.D., is published in the January 2016 issue of The American Journal of Medical Sciences.
“When it comes to predicting the future of medicine and health IT, there is no crystal ball. We need to make informed observations based on where we are now and infer the possibilities,” said Dr. Mamlin, a Regenstrief Institute investigator and IU School of Medicine associate professor of clinical medicine. “We can’t assume someone else will make the right decisions with health IT. It’s going to take everyone’s involvement, including providers and patients, to raise expectations and drive the needed changes. This isn’t a passive process.”
“Getting to a desirable future where health IT is appropriately employed to benefit human health isn’t a technical problem—the technologies already exist. It’s a health policy and a sociology problem,” said Dr. Tierney. “How do I, as a physician, maintain the same degree of connectedness with my patient when there’s a computer in the exam room or if I am seeing a patient via a video connection or answering questions via e-mail or social media? How does the healthcare system that employs me get paid for my time? The rules of engagement are changing.” Dr. Tierney …

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