The use of health information technology in publicly-funded U. S. substance abuse treatment agencies

Wisdom, Jennifer P.; Ford II, James H.; McCarty, Dennis
June 2010
Contemporary Drug Problems;Summer2010, Vol. 37 Issue 2, p315
Academic Journal
Drug and alcohol treatment agencies are challenged to improve their infrastructure to meet growing technological and organizational demands. Health care reform and increased emphasis on performance monitoring in the United States are leading to improvements in health information technology. We assess literature to: (1) survey opportunities for health information technology for publicly-funded substance abuse treatment; (2) describe the use of electronic medical records in U.S. substance use treatment programs; (3) identify barriers and facilitators to implementing technology in substance abuse treatment programs; and (4) discuss applications of these concepts to private and international substance abuse treatment. Although these technologies hold promise to improve outcomes in the areas of cost-effectiveness, provider time savings, and quality improvement, substantial barriers exist to implementing health information technology in substance abuse treatment programs. Increased incentives, evidence, and implementation guidance can facilitate health information technology infrastructure improvement in substance abuse treatment to increase competitiveness in the U.S. health care market and improve the quality of care.


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