To some practices, the HITECH Act feels more like a high-wire act: They're struggling to balance the pros against the
cons as they assess the value of electronic health records (EHR) and health information exchange (HIE).
There are, without a doubt, many pros to EHR and HIE adoption. Enabling fingertip access to patient information.
Streamlining communications among providers and with patients. Improving quality and outcomes. Automating routine,
But there are also undeniable downsides like cost and the need to overhaul virtually all workflows — not to mention the
less-than-encouraging estimates for genuine return on investment.
The movement towards EHR, however, seems to have reached critical mass. Providers, pundits and politicians agree
that the benefits, both now and into the future, outweigh any drawbacks. They also agree that there's a secret to EHR
success: planning well.