Electronic Health Record Implementation in the United States Healthcare Industry: Making the Process of Change Manageable

Electronic Health Record Implementation in the United States Healthcare Industry: Making the Process of Change Manageable

Michelle Lee D’Abundo (University of North Carolina at Wilmington, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-2770-3.ch019

Abstract

The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act (2009) was legislation passed focused on improving health care delivery and patient care in America through the development of health information technology (HIT). The mission of this chapter is to review how American health care practitioners and organizations will integrate one aspect of HIT, the use of Electronic Health Records (EHRs), into the workplace. While objectives and deadlines have been established and aligned with incentives for the meaningful use of EHRs, it seems the missing component is a strategic plan that could be applied by health care organizations to guide the implementation process. The use of a program planning model is suggested to frame a strategic implementation process informed by principles of change management.
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Introduction

Electronic Health Records (EHRs) will have a significant impact on health care practitioners, organizations and the industry as a whole. EHRs are part of the larger national initiative focused on health information technology (HIT), which is the exchange of health information in an electronic environment. The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act (2009) is legislation focused on improving health care delivery and patient care in America through development of health information technology (The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, 2011). The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) coordinates the administration’s HIT efforts. Consequently, the discussion of EHRs falls under the larger umbrella of HIT.

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