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Health Information Technology in VHA Quality Improvement Research

February 15, 2013

VA has long been a leader in health information technology (HIT) development and implementation, and VA's HIT systems will be the focus of a special supplement to the journal Medical Care. The supplement includes papers that describe new research on HIT projects aimed at quality improvement within VA.

In the issue's foreword, David Atkins, M.D., Acting Director of VA's Health Services Research & Development Service and Theresa Cullen, M.D., M.S., VA's Director of Health Informatics, describe future trends in HIT as well as areas considered ready for research and evaluation.

Denise M. Hynes, M.P.H., Ph.D., R.N., Director of HSR&D's VA Information Resource Center, is author of the introductory overview. She also is lead author of an article that explores the challenges and keys to "sustained effects" of HIT projects in VA/HSR&D's Quality Enhancement Research Initiative (QUERI) program, which supported the development of the supplement. Other studies featured address a range of specific HIT approaches, including innovative and interactive uses of the VA's electronic health record and information systems, and applications of automated systems for evaluation and tracking of patient care.

Full access to supplement articles is provided for those within VA. For those outside VA, abstracts are available at the Medical Care website.

Medical Care is the official journal of the Medical Care Section of the American Public Health Association, and provides timely reports on the findings of original investigations into issues related to the research, planning, organization, financing, provision, and evaluation of health services. Several special supplementary issues focusing on specialized topics are produced with each volume.

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