How can health IT optimize behavioral health outcomes?
Health IT can also help facilitate the goal of optimizing behavioral health care for children. Like oral health care, behavioral health care coordination will also contribute to pediatric quality care by sharing information among providers. Currently, a health information exchange (HIE) called the Southeast Nebraska Behavioral Health Information Network (SNBHIN) is under development to improve care coordination and to provide continued care to those with chronic mental illness. The Indian Health Service (IHS) notes that the EHR can help to integrate medical and behavioral health information, which improves coordination of care and health outcomes.
Behavioral health in children is an important factor in determining a child's risk of developing adult risk behaviors, thus early coordination and continuity of care is especially important throughout a child's life. To identify children at risk, the Commonwealth Fund proposes developmental and behavior health screening to occur during well child visits. EHRs can address this recommendation by incorporating templates for these types of screenings to occur during visits. The Children's Partnership also makes a recommendation that care should be coordinated between different providers and settings, including behavior health providers, using health IT tools to connect with one another.
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