US adoption of health information technology as a path to improved quality of patient care (effectiveness, safety, timeliness, patient-centeredness, efficiency, and equity) has been promoted by the medical community. Children and infants (especially those with special health care needs) are at higher risk than are adults for medical errors and their consequences (particularly in environments in which children are not the primary patient population). However, development and adoption of health information technology tools and practices that promote pediatric quality and patient safety are lagging. Two inpatient clinical processes-medication delivery and patient care transitions-are discussed in terms of health information technology applications that support them and functions that are important to pediatric quality and safety. Pediatricians and their partners (pediatric nurses, pharmacists, etc) must develop awareness of technical and adaptive issues in adopting these tools and collaborate with organizational leaders and developers as advocates for the best interests and safety of pediatric patients. Pediatric health information technology adoption cannot be considered in terms of applications (such as electronic health records or computerized physician order entry) alone but must be considered globally in terms of technical (health information technology applications), organizational (structures and workflows of care), and cultural (stakeholders) aspects of what is best.
- Electronic health record
- Health information technology
- Quality improvement
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health