Report: Most providers need assistance implementing IT

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Many healthcare providers need more information about how to implement information technology successfully, according to a new government report.

Smaller medical practices and hospitals that makeup the majority of healthcare providers in the country have limited technological expertise and must depend on the purchase of commercial systems, according to the report from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Large healthcare organizations and health plans, by contrast, have been leaders in implementing healthcare information technology, the report said.

Nursing homes have traditionally been considered laggards even within one of the economy's slowest sectors – healthcare – when it comes to incorporating IT measures.

Among the barriers to the implementation of health information technology are time, financial concerns, users' insufficient computer skills and physical disabilities, and confidentiality concerns, researchers also found.

The Southern California Evidence-based Practice Center conducted the research for AHRQ for the report, titled Costs and Benefits of Health Information Technology. See the report at http://www.ahrq.gov/downloads/pub/evidence/pdf/hitsyscosts/hitsys.pdf.
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