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H H S Department of Health and Human Services
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Health Information Technology and Quality
Improvement

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How do we strategically plan for QI using our health IT systems?

Health IT systems can play a key role in improving organizational processes and clinical outcomes. However, a significant level of planning is necessary in order to successfully establish and sustain a QI program.  An organizational QI plan must be developed before any moves are made towards implementing quality improvement activities. This plan should articulate the organization’s goals in implementing a QI program, describe the clinical and administrative measures that would be included as part of the program, detail the ways in which health IT can be used to achieve these goals, include the approach to data collection and analysis and outline the steps the organization will take towards quality improvement. In addition to the strategic plan, the organization must determine if a new clinical system such as an EHR or a population health management system such as a disease registry will be purchased, whether upgrades will be made to an existing system (with the purchase of a QI module from the EHR vendor for example) or whether a custom-built data warehouse and reporting system will be created. Each of these choices require different allocations of resources in terms of costs, expertise and time.

Related Resources:

Health Information Technology and Quality Improvement for CHCs go to exit disclaimer- Health Affairs 
Technology Enabled Quality Improvement go to exit disclaimer- Community Clinics Initiatives, California Health Care Foundation, Object Health

Developed by the Health Resources and Services Administration as a resource for health centers and other safety net and ambulatory care providers who are seeking to implement health IT.
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