System Design and Management

The MIT Master's Program in Engineering and Management

Re-engineering US Health Care with Health-Care Information Technology— Promises and Peril

Blackford Middleton, MD, MPH, MSc
Corporate Director of Clinical Informatics Research & Development, Partners HealthCare System
Assistant Professor of Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, and of Health Policy and Management at the Harvard School of Public Health

Health-care information technology (HIT) holds the promise of helping to fundamentally transform US health care. Current federal, state, and local efforts are aimed at a rapid expansion of the use of HIT to help control costs, improve quality and patient safety, and provide a foundation for health-care reform. However, inattention to critical systems design issues may prevent the full value potential from being attained from a wired health-care delivery system. Dr. Middleton will present a systems perspective on clinical information management in health-care delivery, focusing on critical issues related to value and considerations that may impede full value potential. He will provide an overview of the evidence that suggests HIT can impact costs and quality of care, and describe system development and implementation opportunities and challenges. Examples will be drawn from Partners HealthCare clinical systems development.


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  • Sloan School of Management
  • School of Engineering
  • Engineering Systems Division

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