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The Costs of the Health Information Technology Act

Patient care should always be the focus of every medical facility. Advances in technology have resulted in many gains in the medical field. Dentistry has also benefited from advances in technology. Like other medical fields, dentists are able to share patient records through the use of electronic health records. The ability to share medical records using technology is efficient, cost effective and reinforces the idea of patient centered care.

The HITECH Act, created in 2009, requires professionals in the medical industry to adopt electronic health records. HITECH Act was not designed to be a burden on professionals in the medical field. The government has allocated funds to increase early adoption rates and reduce the burden of adopting electronic health records.

Recently it has been reported that adoption of the electronic health records has not delivered the savings anticipated. Incorporating electronic health records was purported to save the United States an estimated $81 billion. The New York Times reports, many healthcare professionals are not realizing the cost savings associated with adopting electronic health records. Reports even indicate some healthcare facilities have seen increases in their costs; attributing increased costs to more services being used, continual growth of the aging population and the cost of implementing electronic health records.

Although adopting electronic health records can be a little costly government funds still exists to reduce the burden. Adopting electronic health records continue to be more efficient than using dated systems. Technology costs incurred by medical facilities will always be there. The cost of delivering effective care utilizes more advanced technology and regardless of adopting electronic health records most medical facilities would have still have incurred these costs. Additionally, the aging population and costs associated with providing their medical care should not be a factor when considering the costs associated with implementing electronic health records. All medical facilities would have costs associated with treating the increasing aging population, regardless of adopting electronic health records. In fact without adoption of electronic health records, one could speculate that costs would be even more.

Although costs associated with adoption of electronic health records may have been understated, the benefits of adopting electronic health records continue to persist. Adoption of electronic health records increases efficiency; supports patient centered care and will lead to the reduction of costs. Simply implementing the system will not result in everything following into place. Medical professionals must adopt efficient processes that support the new systems.

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