Behavioral Health Information Technology: From Chaos To Clarity
The use of health information technology (IT) in general health care has been shown to have significant potential to facilitate the delivery of safe, high-quality, and cost-effective care. However, its application to behavioral health care has been slow, limiting the extent to which consumers seeking care for mental health or substance use disorders can derive its benefits. The goal of this article is to provide an overview of the use of health IT in behavioral health and to describe some unique challenges experienced in that domain. We also highlight current obstacles to, and recommendations for, the use of health IT in improving the quality of behavioral health care. We conclude with recommendations for prioritizing the work that we believe will move the US health care system toward more effective, efficient, and patient-centric care in behavioral health.
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