Health informatics is the investigation and application of computing and other information technology (IT) to health care, health education, and biomedicai research. Primary uses of IT in providing health care are customized software designed for practice management; services integration through the use of regional computer networks for client referrals and provider communications; direct provision of services on computers in the form of interactive interventions for clients; providing information via Web sites or e-mails; and business management of, and quality assurance for, treatment modalities.

A key link in many of these IT applications in health care is the electronic health record (EHR), an extension of the electronic medical record out of the hospital or medical practice into the wider community health care environment where most substance abuse ...

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