What are some of the costs associated with adopting health IT when creating a medical home?
For increased quality and better outcomes, medical practices should examine the benefits that health IT can provide to medical homes. However, the adoption of health IT within medical practices may be impeded by the associated costs. These costs are not limited to the direct financial aspects of implementing and maintaining health IT systems within a practice. There are also costs associated with the human factors involved in health IT change such as building consensus, changing workflow, and other change management activities. While ambulatory care practices generally struggle with the costs of health IT, these costs are particularly significant for small and solo practices where both financial and skilled IT resources are limited. Particular challenges may exist for pediatric practices due to special considerations in the use of health IT for the care of children and adolescents. These additional complexities may include growth tracking, pediatric-specific terminology, differences in physiology between children and adults, and family involvement in care.
Over time, health IT ultimately has the potential to improve cost-effectiveness in a medical practice and to support the medical home. Improvements in efficiency and safety can enable such financial benefits.
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