How can Health Information Technology drive QI?
Health information technology (IT) has the potential to enable better care for patients and to help clinicians achieve continual improvements in the quality of care in primary care settings. Researchers speculate that health information technology can support quality improvement efforts, particularly in the areas of billing and administration, documentation, and patient care. Health IT can also facilitate health care research and data collection on actual clinical data that was previously difficult to obtain resulting in most health-related data originating from claims and patient surveys. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) notes that health IT allows comprehensive management of medical information and its secure exchange between health care consumers and providers. Broad use of health IT will:
HHS also states that interoperable health IT will improve individual patient care. It will also bring many public health benefits including:
To facilitate the adoption and use of EHRs, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) implemented the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs (also called Meaningful Use), which provide financial incentives to eligible providers and hospitals who demonstrate meaningful use of EHRs. Meaningful use includes both a core set and a menu set of functional objectives. This program also incorporates clinical quality measures and requires that participants report on at least 6 from a list of 44 clinical quality measures. In order to qualify for these incentives, your EHR must be certified and you must meet program requirements.
Health Information Technology for Improving Quality of Care in Primary Care Settings - Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI)
Office of the National Coordination for Health IT - Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
National Healthcare Quality Report 2008 - Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)
Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs - Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)
Overview of Quality Measures - CMS
Systemic Review: Impact of Health Information technology on Quality, Efficiency and Costs of Medical Care - Annals of Internal Medicine
What is Health Care Quality and Who Decides? - AHRQ
The Role of eHealth in Patient Engagement and Quality Improvement - SpringerLink
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