Developed by HHS' Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), the Health IT Adoption Toolbox is a compilation of planning, implementation and evaluation resources to help community health centers, other safety net providers, and ambulatory care providers implement health IT applications in their facilities. Staff from community health centers and a variety of stakeholders in the health IT arena have reviewed and contributed to the toolbox to ensure the resources are accurate, relevant, and effective in supporting health IT in health centers.
The Health IT Adoption Toolbox serves the needs of a broad audience within health centers, other safety net clinics, and ambulatory care provider sites. The toolbox is organized to support a range of stakeholders, from senior management to the staff charged with implementing health information systems.
The Health IT Adoption Toolbox is organized by 7 topic-specific modules and 4 special topics:
While these modules cover the life cycle of a typical health IT implementation project - from learning the basics to evaluating and optimizing a system - different components of each module may be valuable to health centers at various stages of implementation. Also included are modules on advanced health IT topics, such as electronic prescribing, personal health records, and open source software. Each module contains a variety of resources ranging from sample project documentation to white papers on various topics.
There is no one "right" way to use this toolbox. For those seeking an orientation to the toolbox, skimming each of the eleven modules will be effective for getting the "lay of the land" prior to diving into the specifics of any one module. The module-based question and answer framework is designed to help users find the information they need at different phases of a health IT implementation project. This approach should also encourage users to ask the right questions and guide them to the answers.
Health IT is healthcare information technology - the use of computer applications to record, store, protect, retrieve, and transfer clinical, administrative, and financial information electronically within health care settings. The ultimate goal of health IT is to improve population health and the quality and efficiency of patient care.
The resources below provide an introduction to various Health IT Topics.
Health IT background reading:
Why implement Health IT?
Recent research demonstrates that increased use of information technology is an important step in improving quality of care and patient safety. The recent focus on health IT adoption was initiated by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) report in 1999, To Err is Human: Building a Safer Health System , which highlighted improved use of computerized applications as a core strategy for improving safety and quality of the healthcare system.
Health IT has received substantial support from Federal agencies. The Agency for Health Research and Quality (AHRQ) funded the National Resource Center for Health IT (NRC) in 2004 and approximately $166 million in health IT projects throughout the United States. HRSA has supported the adoption of health IT by health centers, other safety net providers and ambulatory care providers since the 1980s through various grant programs ranging from operational funding to funding dedicated to EHR implementation.
Resources about the value of health IT:
The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and its Office of Health Information Technology and Quality (OHITQ) have begun to play a unique and critical role in the national strategy for health IT. HRSA's vision is to leverage the power of health IT to improve patient outcomes, quality, and reduce health disparities for people who are uninsured, isolated, or medically vulnerable. As part of its mission, HRSA aims to provide health centers, other safety net providers, and ambulatory care providers with tools to successfully implement health IT in a manner appropriate for their and their patients' needs and abilities. The toolbox is a central component of this effort. In addition, OHITQ has initiated a Health IT Technical Assistance Center to support grantees that use the toolbox or who are otherwise engaged in health IT implementation.
E-mail the HealthIT e-mail box: email@example.com