Unintended consequences of health information technology: a need for biomedical informatics.

Health information technology (HIT) can address important problems in clinical care and biomedical research. These problems include lack of compliance with clinical practice guidelines [1], insufficient use of preventative medicine services [2] and numerous impediments to clinical/translational research [3]. However, front-line patient care information systems that can influence care may worsen outcomes as well as improve them. Increasingly, there is evidence of significant, unintended and deleterious effects of well-meaning HIT efforts [4]. In this paper we present examples of such deleterious effects and argue that: (1) HIT is a tool that can influence health care and biomedicine (for good or ill) and (2) biomedical informatics efforts are needed to ensure that HIT fulfills its promise in biomedicine.

Authors
a Elmer Bernstam, b William Hersh, c Ida Sim, d David Eichmann, e Jonathan C. Silverstein, f Jack W. Smith, g Michael J, Becich

a
School of Health Information Sciences, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, 7000 Fannin Street, Suite 600, Houston, TX 77030, USA
b
Department of Medical Informatics & Clinical Epidemiology, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, OR, USA
c
Division of General Internal Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, CA, USA
d
School of Library and Information Science, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA, USA
e
Department of Surgery, Radiology and Computation Institute, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA
f
School of Health Information Sciences, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Houston, TX, USA
g
Department of Biomedical Informatics, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
Journal
Journal of Biomedical Informatics
Publication Date
PMCID
PMID: 19508898
DOI
10.1016/j.jbi.2009.05.009