The costs of health care in the United States are the highest of any country in the world, and they are rapidly becoming unsustainable, affecting the costs of goods and services made in our economy, which is suffering. This is especially problematic since the quality and safety of care nationally is mediocre or worse—the United States actually ranked last among the industrialized nations evaluated in one recent study using preventable mortality as an outcome.1 This has led to intense interest in approaches to improve quality and safety and reduce costs, and increased use of health information technology (HIT) has emerged as one of the key tools for addressing these issues,2 with one study estimating the potential savings over 10 years of increased HIT adoption broadly to be $88 billion, although other studies have reached much higher point estimates.3,4
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