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What is Health Information Technology?

what is health information technology

Health information technology is an important tool for improving quality and safety outcomes in healthcare. The implementation of health information technology (HIT) improves a provider’s ability to diagnose diseases, prevent medical errors, and reduce adverse drug reactions, which results in better patient outcomes over time. (1, 2)

When most organizations think of health information technology, they think of electronic health records (EHR). However, it is also important for health organizations to look beyond EHR data to reveal a complete story of patient health. (3) Solely relying on EHR data can create problematic gaps in understanding a patient’s needs, as EHRs do not deliver the level of data analysis required for extracting necessary insights. In addition, EHRs are not always able to easily share data with everyone who needs it. (3)

This is where the need for comprehensive health information technology comes in. By integrating an EHR system with patient safety software, healthcare systems can better understand vast amounts of data and organize it in a way that drives decision-making and keeps patients safe.

[READ: Selecting the Right Healthcare Technology]

Health information technology impacts healthcare systems in many ways, from the reduction of patient safety events to bottom-line cost savings:

1. Reduce Patient Safety Incidents and Events 
Health information technology improves patient safety by reducing events such as medication errors, falls, and injuries. (2) For instance, a patient safety technology solution can pinpoint exactly where medication errors are occurring, down to the location, department, time of day, and even shift. Understanding the drill-through details of patient safety events makes it easier for leadership teams to establish corrective action plans and prevent future incidents before they happen.

2. Make Data Readily Accessible
The last decade has seen major advances in the production and collection of healthcare data, as well as the ability to effectively access and analyze this information. (4) With the use of a patient safety software solution, healthcare teams can easily access data through a central communication portal, as well as perform follow-up documentation and data analysis.

3. Save Time and Increase Efficiency

Digital data entry is much less time-consuming than paper-based reporting methods, and it reduces the risk of errors in patient data. Utilizing software that allows healthcare professionals to input data and access patient records from a tablet, desktop, or mobile device helps increase efficiency and productivity. (5)

4. Lower Healthcare Costs

According to a study by RAND Health, if most hospitals and doctors’ offices adopted health information technology, the potential savings for both inpatient and outpatient care could average over $77 billion per year. (6)

The largest savings come from reduced hospital stays (a result of increased patient safety), reduced nurses’ administrative time, and more efficient drug utilization. (6)

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Performance Health Partner's Patient Safety Solution

With reduced patient safety events, increased data accessibility and efficiency, and lowered overall costs, the impact of IT on healthcare is clear. With Performance Health Partner’s Patient Safety solution, healthcare organizations can access the data they need to increase patient safety and improve outcomes. Learn more at or schedule a demo here.

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