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Physicians who care for patients every day understand what no one else does – that the benefits of HIT are not a forgone conclusion. To us HIT has as much potential to harm patients as it has to help them. We also understand that the fund of knowledge required to safely and effectively implement HIT has not yet been adequately developed.
Health information technology will change the practice of medicine more than any drug, imaging modality, operation or surgical device. It will profoundly affect the care of every patient. No other past or current medical advancement can make that claim.
Any new technology, including health information technology, produces unexpected adverse consequences. For adverse events in health care, government mandates create a frightening multiplier. What if the government had required all overweight patients to use Fen-Phen before its cardiac side effects were discovered? What if all patients with arthritic hips had been required to receive cobalt-containing implants? In an environment where every innovation is rightfully scrutinized before it is placed into widespread use, why do so many accept the unproven claims of HIT as unchallenged fact?