Information technology holds promise for advancing healthcare

It is known as “Health IT,” an idea that promises to use information technology to cut medical errors, avoid unnecessary tests and procedures and identify better treatments. The Obama administration is betting that $19 billion of the economic stimulus package will spread the concept from coast to coast. In Hawaii, Kaiser Permanente reported a 26% drop in patient visits after the hospital giant implemented an electronic record system that allows doctors and patients to communicate more easily by telephone or e-mail for routine contacts.

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