HITECH Legislation


TheHealth Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act(HITECH) was created in the year 2009 to spearhead the adoption ofsupporting technology and electronic health record (EHR) in theUnited States. The HITECH gave the Office of the National Coordinatorauthority to set the standard and to manage the stimulus program.Grants were also established for people required to support the newtechnology in a healthcare organization.

HITECHlegislation has both positive and negative impacts. For instance, EHRprovides up-to-date information and accurate data about a patient,and this data can be retrieved by the physician to help in diagnosisand treatment of diseases and conditions. This has severaladvantages, for instance, it saves a lot of time that could have beenspent looking for files manually from the record. Consequently, priorto its implementation, there were numerous cases of medical errorsrelating to prescription and diagnosis, however, it has helped solvethis problem and at the same time ensured efficiency (DeVore, &ampKinsey, 2011). Modern healthcare facilities that have implementedHealth Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Acthas significantly reduced operational cost because of the paperlessrecord keeping.

Althoughmany advantages come with the adoption of EHR, it also has somedrawbacks. The major concern is on confidentiality and loss ofpatients’ information when the computers crash. This is becausethere are no stipulated laws to guide who should access the patients’information. There is also a problem of start-up cost. Starting orimplementing this system for the first time requires a lot of money,and this may jeopardize other health care services because they willreceive minimal funds (DeVore, &amp Kinsey, 2011). Lastly, there isthe lack of standardizing terminologies that would ensure easytransfer of patients’ information among various healthcarefacilities that a patient may visit.

TheMedicaid and Medicare EHR programs provided financial incentives toeligible hospitals and professionals as they upgrade, adopt,implement or as they demonstrate meaningful use of certified healthrecord technology. The main purpose of the incentive payment by theHITECH Act is to speed up the adoption of EHR in various healthcarefacilities in the United States. Research indicates that the numberof hospital and doctors who use EHR doubled since the start of theprogram. This has had a positive impact on provision of healthcareservices. Due to the strict requirements that must be met in order tobe given financial help, the resulting impact has been improvementsin the general quality of health services.

Anarticle on attesting to the meaningful use of EHR-based on theevidence-based strategies written by Oliver and Synder in 2014indicated, that unless medical professionals receive adequatetraining, it may be difficult for them to operate and manage thesystem efficiently. The article defines meaningful use asdocumentation of health and demographic data into an EHR with the aimof improving quality and safety care and reducing disparities ofinformation (Synder, &amp Oliver, 2014).

Themajor objective of the article was to help healthcare providers toattest to stage 1 and stage 2 of the meaningful use in the outpatientsetting. The report asserts that the EHR has the ability to meet itsgoal only if the information is recorded in the usable format. Itfurther indicates that implementing EHR is important because itcollects and standardizes that can be easily monitored and retrieved.


Arlotto,P. (2010). 7 Strategies for improving HITECH readiness. HealthcareFinancial management: Journal of the Healthcare Financial ManagementAssociation.

DeVore,A., &amp Kinsey, M. (2011). TheElectronic health record for the physician’s office.Maryland Heights, Mo: Saunders Elsevier.

Synder,E. &amp Oliver, J. (2014). Evidencebased strategies of attesting to Meaningful Use of electronic healthrecords:An integrative review.