Roadmap for the Adoption of Health Information Technology in Rural Communities

The goal of this project was to develop a reference document that would be provided to attendees at the Office of Rural Health Policy's September 2006 conference and widely distributed to other interested parties following the conference.  Based on a review of the relevant literature as well as exhaustive review of relevant web sites, this document compiles information designed to help all types of rural health care providers along the road to adoption of health information technology.

Key chapters include a discussion of "critical first steps", including the importance of aligning health IT investments with the provider's larger strategic goals, conducting assessments of the provider's readiness to change internal processes as necessary to make a new technology work, and the pivotal role to be played by a clinical IT champion. References to existing tools are provided throughout the document.  The document also provides an overview of several Federal grant/loan programs that may provide financial support for health IT investments, a glossary of key terms, and an annotated list of other helpful resources.

This project was conducted as part of the Rural Health Research and Policy Center.

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