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Health Information Technology: The Gateway to Progress

There is only one way to mobilize the information in patients' health records: digitize it. In a new post on The Commonwealth Fund Blog, the Fund's David Blumenthal, M.D., and Anne-Marie J. Audet, M.D, argue this is what the federal HITECH program is all about—getting unused information into digital form to improve care for patients and accelerate reform.

Commenting on survey findings published in the Annals of Internal Medicine indicating slow take-up of electronic health records, the authors say that while helpful in guiding implementation, the survey—developed by researchers from Mathematica Policy Research, The Commonwealth Fund, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the Mongan Institute for Health Policy at Massachusetts General Hospital—was conducted far too early in HITECH's rollout to be used to judge the program's ultimate success.

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