Health and Human Services' Estimate of Health Care Cost Savings Resulting from the Use of Information Technology Page: 3 of 11
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National Coordinator for Health IT moves forward with this framework, it will be
essential to have continued leadership, clear direction, measurable goals, and
mechanisms to monitor progress.
Table 1: National Health IT Goals and Strategies
Goal 1: Inform clinical practice with the use of electronic health records
Provide incentives for electronic health record adoption
Reduce risk of electronic health record investment
Promote electronic health record diffusion in rural and underserved areas
Goal 2: Interconnect clinicians so that they can exchange health information using advanced
and secure electronic communication
Establish regional collaborations
Develop a national health information network
Coordinate federal health information systems
Goal 3: Personalize care with consumer-based health records and better information for
Encourage the use of electronic health records
Enhance informed consumer choice
Promote use of telehealth systems
Goal 4: Improve public health through advanced biosurveillance methods and streamlined
collection of data for quality measurement and research
Unify public health surveillance architectures
Streamline quality and health status monitoring
Accelerate research and dissemination of evidence
Potential Cost Savings from the Use of IT
According to the National Coordinator for Health IT, HHS's initial estimate of
potential nationwide savings resulting from the adoption of health IT is based
primarily on two studies conducted by the Center for Information Technology
Leadership (CITL).7'8 He also stated that the annual savings estimate is conservative
and excludes clinical encounters from other health care delivery settings, such as
inpatient care, disease surveillance, and clinical research trials. One of the CITL
studies identified $78 billion in annual savings, while the other study estimated $44
billion from the widespread implementation of IT used in ambulatory care settings.9
Both studies estimated savings based on the use of models to project the value of net
cost savings from the adoption of IT and incorporated information from published
studies, expert panels, and market research. However, CITL and other health care
experts acknowledge that these estimates are based on a number of assumptions and
inhibited by limited data and therefore are not necessarily complete and precise. The
6GAO, Health Care: National Strategy Needed to Accelerate the Implementation of Information
Technology, GAO-04-947T (Washington, D.C.: July 14, 2004).
7Center for Information Technology Leadership, The Value of Healthcare Information Exchange and
Interoperability (Boston: 2004) and The Value of Computerized Provider Order Entry in Ambulatory
Settings (Boston: 2003).
8 CITL was chartered in 2002 by Boston-based, nonprofit Partners HealthCare System as a research
organization established to help guide the health care community in making more informed strategic
IT investment decisions.
'Ambulatory care refers to health services provided on an outpatient basis to those who visit a health
care facility or hospital and depart after treatment on the same day.
GAO-05-309R HHS's Estimate of Savings from Health IT
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United States. Government Accountability Office. Health and Human Services' Estimate of Health Care Cost Savings Resulting from the Use of Information Technology, text, February 17, 2005; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc302865/m1/3/: accessed November 15, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.