AMA risks and benefits of HIT
Be sure to have considered HIT's common risks and benefits before embarking on your selection process.
costly set-up and costly maintenance
low technological-competence among your staff—problems with adjustment, fear of change
unhappiness among your patient population—“you talk to the computer, not me”
technical limits in your practice (no high-speed connection, etc)
chosen HIT product does not adequately fit your needs: you have to double-document or sustain paper-based processes AND electronic processes.
elimination of chart-pulling, chart-filing, chart loss
easy electronic review of patient information before visits
notification of completed diagnostics and labs to review
notification of required follow-ups, tests, etc.
potential reduction in medical errors with decision support and easier access to relevant information
reduction in prescription errors and subsequent time lost communicating with pharmacies.
easy communication with patients’ other providers—specialists, hospital visits, etc
more complete and detailed information available for claims, malpractice suits, etc
potential reduced costs for labor and supplies related to charts and chart maintenance
improved flow of information between staff members.
In order to reap the benefits and avoid the risks of HIT adoption, you need to have carefully assessed your own practice, identified benchmarks and a timeline for transition, and have planned the entire process insightfully and thoroughly. This means carefully evaluating your own practice and that of your HIT vendor before you implement.