Learn how health information technology improves behavioral health care for patients and providers, and how SAMHSA is leading efforts to encourage adoption.
Health information technology, or health IT, involves the secure exchange of health information using computer systems.
Health IT makes it faster and easier for patients, families, providers, and health insurers to securely share information. Health IT helps behavioral health professionals manage patient records, while giving patients and families more control over their care. Learn more about:
Barriers to Health IT Adoption
Health IT has become more widely available in many healthcare settings in recent years. However, the behavioral health field is still working to put health IT into practice.
There are a few reasons why the behavioral health field lags behind general health care in health IT adoption:
- Behavioral health IT was not included in federal laws that have encouraged other healthcare providers to adopt the technology.
- Without these incentives, behavioral healthcare providers lack the resources to switch to electronic health records (EHRs) and adopt other forms of health IT.
- Behavioral health professionals may lack the expertise needed to effectively use health IT.
Bridging the Health IT Gap
SAMHSA is leading efforts to ensure the behavioral health field keeps pace. Health IT is one of SAMHSA’s six strategic initiatives described in Leading Change 2.0: Advancing the Behavioral Health of the Nation 2015–2016. Learn more about SAMHSA’s strategic initiatives.
SAMHSA is supporting health IT adoption in behavioral health by:
- Providing grant funds for health IT adoption and innovation
- Providing technical assistance and training to support implementation
- Developing health IT tools and resources for professionals in the field
- Addressing privacy concerns associated with health IT
Learn more about SAMHSA’s efforts to achieve health IT integration in behavioral health care.