The escalating cost of health care and the need to improve patient safety and reduce medical errors, coupled with national disasters, terrorism, and other unsustainable health care trends, have necessitated major health care reform in the United States. The focus on the adoption of electronic health records (EHRs) as a top priority within the National Health Information Technology (HIT) Agenda is the key driver toward achieving the transformation needed. This chapter reviews the industry trends, drivers, federal mandates, and initiatives influencing health care practice through the use of information systems and technology. It specifically examines the federal and private momentum and activities to date in the areas of governance, policy, technology, and adoption. The chapter concludes with recommendations to increase the engagement and visibility of the nursing profession and its influence on health care reform and HIT adoption.
The evolving national informatics landscape