While there may be many reasons to adopt health IT for health centers, other safety net providers and ambulatory care providers, the most important is to improve the quality of care for low income and uninsured individuals. As such, health IT applications such as disease registries and electronic health records (EHRs), have facilitated improvements in the care delivered to patients, including individuals with chronic illnesses, who are disproportionately represented among health center patients. Understanding and identifying changes in the delivery of care resulting from health IT adoption will guide health centers to develop and prioritize clinical goals and benchmarks, ultimately improving the quality and efficiency of care.
HRSA programs, such as the Health Disparities Collaborative, have over a decade of experience demonstrating the role of health IT in improving care to chronically ill individuals. In addition, independent organizations such as the Ambulatory Care Quality Association have developed clinical measures that can be used to gauge improvements in quality.
Related resources on quality improvement using health IT:
E-mail the HealthIT e-mail box: firstname.lastname@example.org