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H H S Department of Health and Human Services
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Health Information Technology

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What is the definition of health IT for children?

Healthcare information technology (Health IT) is the use of computer applications to record, store, protect, retrieve, and transfer clinical, administrative, and financial information electronically within and among various health care settings. Health IT systems need to be designed to address the needs of all patients. In order to ensure that health IT systems meet the requirements of children, such systems need to account for and include dimensions important to child health. For example:

1) Children's drug dosing, clinical observations (e.g., heart rate), and immunizations all differ from adults. Specific and exact growth charts as well as developmental tracking are also unique to pediatric care.

2) Information technology must integrate not only clinical information but also information from multiple programs that serve children including child care programs, schools, WIC, and public and private insurance. Child health and well-being requires care coordination and communication across all of these sectors. Child health and well-being must be approached and tracked not only horizontally, but vertically and longitudinally as well.

The resources below will provide an introduction to several general health IT resources and specific child health IT topics:

The following resources help define key health IT terms and acronyms:

  • Report (PDF - 601 KB): Defining Key Health Information Technology Terms; National Alliance for Health Information Technology
  • Acronyms - Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology
  • Glossary of Selected Terms Related to e-Health - Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology

The resources listed below are some introductory readings on health, health IT and children:

For background information about health IT in general, and links to Key Topic Pages on the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Health IT website, you can browse the following:

Developed by the Health Resources and Services Administration as a resource for health centers and other safety net and ambulatory care providers who are seeking to implement health IT.
Health Information Technology Toolboxes help health centers, safety net providers, and ambulatory care providers with electronic and online resources and technical assistance to improve patient care.  More>
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