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

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What is HRSA’s vision for Health IT?

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) views health IT as an important tool in its mission to provide quality care and access to health services for people who are uninsured, isolated, or medically vulnerable. The HRSA Office of Health Information Technology and Quality (OHITQ) focuses on improving health outcomes of the underserved by promoting the use of health information technology as a tool to enhance quality of care delivery. OHITQ works on HIT and quality initiatives both within HRSA and in collaboration with other HHS agencies, such as the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

With respect to health IT, HRSA’s Vision Statement is for “a health care delivery system that uses Health Information Technology and Continuous Quality Improvement to empower all patients and health care providers for optimal health outcomes.” According to the Vision Statement, HRSA seeks to improve the health of the safety net and strengthen the workforce that serves it by:

  • Promoting learning (i.e., HIT and quality concepts need to be fully understood;
  • Measuring (i.e., quality improvement needs to be founded on a measurement strategy);
  • Improving (i.e., continuous quality improvement needs to be the culture of all health care organizations); and
  • Partnering (i.e., work in a trans-agency, trans-organizational, trans-sector, trans-disciplinary manner to bridge the quality chasm).

HRSA's vision is to leverage the power of health IT to improve patient outcomes, enhance quality, and reduce health disparities. As part of its mission, HRSA aims to provide health centers, other safety net providers, and ambulatory care providers with tools and resources to successfully implement health IT in a manner appropriate for their providers and patients.  A central component of this effort is the creation of toolboxes such as this one. In addition, through webinars and toolboxes, and various resources available throughout their website, HRSA’s Health IT Technical Assistance Center (HITTAC) supports grantees who are engaged in health IT implementation.

HRSA has supported the adoption of health IT by health centers, other safety net providers and ambulatory care providers since the 1980s through various grant programs ranging from operational funding to funding dedicated to EHR implementation. Part of this support is for Health Center Controlled Networks (HCCNs), which are defined by HRSA as “a group of safety net providers (a minimum of three collaborators/members) collaborating horizontally or vertically to improve access to care, enhance quality of care, and achieve cost efficiencies through the redesign of practices to integrate services, optimize patient outcomes, or negotiate managed care contracts on behalf of the participating members.”

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.
Health Information Technology Toolboxes help health centers, safety net providers, and ambulatory care providers with electronic and online resources and technical assistance to improve patient care.  More>
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