Technology Diffusion

Technology diffusion can be defined as the process by which innovations are adopted by a population. Whether diffusion occurs and the rate at which it occurs is dependent on several factors including the nature and quality of the innovation, how information about the innovation is communicated, and the characteristics of the population into which it is introduced. Americans have come to demand state-of-the-art medical technology, despite its astronomical costs, and we place a huge emphasis on medical specialization. As we have seen, the coverage of health services by insurance companies actually creates a moral hazard to use high-cost services. And keep in mind "supply-side" competition—which can result in duplication of services and equipment.

The Technological Imperative

The mission of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is to promote policies that will improve the economic and social well-being of people around the world. The OECD provides a forum in which governments can work together to share experiences and seek solutions to common problems.   


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  You may want to browse the OECD site to see how other member and partner countries compare.

What is Information Technology?

The term Information Technology (IT) refers to an entire industry that uses computers and software to manage information. In some companies, this is referred to as Management Information Services (MIS) or Information Services (IS). The information technology department of a large company would be responsible for storing information, protecting information, processing the information, transmitting the information as necessary, and later retrieving information as necessary.

Applications of Information Techology

Health Informatics

A brief definition of "informatics" is "information, communication of knowledge, transmission of knowledge, dissemination, diffusion." Health informatics is a rapidly emerging discipline within the health care system, and goes far beyond computer management of data. A slightly broader definition is "the knowledge, skills and tools which enable information to be collected, managed, used and shared to support the delivery of health care and to promote health."

Source: NHS Careers

Electronic Health Records (EHRs)

Our world has been radically transformed by digital technology – smart phones, tablets, and web-enabled devices have transformed our daily lives and the way we communicate. Medicine is an information-rich enterprise. A greater and more seamless flow of information within a digital health care infrastructure, created by electronic health records (EHRs), encompasses and leverages digital progress and can transform the way care is delivered and compensated. With EHRs, information is available whenever and wherever it is needed.

The Official Web Site for the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Records (EHR) Incentive Programs

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When fully functional and exchangeable, the benefits of EHRs offer far more than a paper record can. The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, a component of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, represents the Nation's first substantial commitment of Federal resources to support the widespread adoption of EHRs.

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Eligible Professionals Participating in the Medicare EHR Incentive Program

Basic Information

Medicaid also has a program that will not be described here, as specific provisions vary by state. 

Change can be difficult. Not everyone is finding the intended outcomes or benefits that were expected. Is this a learning curve or is it indicative of a bigger problem? 


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