Health Information Technology

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With the use of increasingly sophisticated technology in health care, comes the factor of “cost”. The rapid progression in the field of health care technology has brought into attention the impact of cost in using these technologies. The increasing use of advanced technologies in health care industry does not come cheap. The cost of implementing and maintaining technology in health care industry is high.

According to the article, Evidence on the Costs and Benefits of Health Information Technology (May 2008) (referred in http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/ftpdocs/91xx/doc9168/05-20-healthit.pdf) implementing a health information technology system involves significant expenditures. Total cost in implementing a health technology system includes: * The initial fixed cost of the hardware, software, equipments, and technical assistance necessary to install the system. * Licensing fees.

* The expense of maintaining the system.
* The “opportunity cost” of the time that health care providers could have spent seeing patients but instead must devote to learning how to use the new system and how to adjust their work practices accordingly. This cost may vary widely depending on the complexity of the organization. The initial investment and cost of maintenance required for implementing the technology is fairly high. Productive time lost in learning and adapting this technology is equally high. This raises the question whether providers will be able to use the system effectively. Social costs may also be a factor in provider’s adoption and use of technology in health care. Many existing studies of the costs of implementing such systems lump together all direct costs. For instance this includes hardware, software, machines, licensing fees, labor, installation, and training. Thus, the high impact of cost on technology in health care is one of the barriers to implementation and adoption of these technologies.

According to the authors Adams,...
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