The practice of medicine is at heart an exercise of collecting, filtering, summarizing, managing, analyzing, and acting upon information. This information comes directly from the patient's narrative history, but also from family and caretakers, and other providers. It also is derived from diagnostic interventions, including the physical examination, laboratory tests, radiologic exams, and procedures. Combined with reference knowledge about physiology, pathology, pharmacology, and other basic science disciplines, the physician makes an expert assessment of the patient's conditions and risks, and then recommends an action plan. Information about this plan must be communicated and coordinated with a larger team and with the patient and their family, executed, and then information about how the patient responds fed back in order to make adjustments over time. If this flow of information is compromised or hampered at any point in this cycle, then the potential for quality and safety problems emerges. Given this intense information-rich environment that the clinician must navigate, especially in the inpatient setting, it is clear that the judicious application of information technology (IT) can greatly empower the hospitalist in providing high quality and safe patient care; and conversely, that injudicious application of IT can promote errors and adverse outcomes.