EHRA Launches Delivery System Reform Workgroup

As health IT professionals supporting hundreds of thousands of healthcare professionals across the country, we are paying close attention to the significant efforts by both government and private sector stakeholders to shift the focus of our healthcare system away from volume-driven incentives and towards value-based reimbursement.  With that shift, we’re also seeing an increasing recognition for the important role that EHRs and other health information technology tools play in achieving our shared objectives of a more efficient, effective healthcare system.

In response, the EHR Association (EHRA) has launched the Delivery System Reform (DSR) Workgroup as a source of information and education for EHRA members, and to serve as a vehicle for providing input on related Congressional and regulatory initiatives and collaborating with other industry stakeholders.

This new workgroup reflects the EHRA’s view that clinical record systems and health IT are foundational to new payment models that emphasize value and improved patient outcomes over volume of services delivered.  Certified EHRs today can be used to promote proactive identification and management of high risk patients, help care teams work successfully across delivery sites, coordinate care for patients with multiple health problems, support real-time decision-making and population surveillance with evidence-based guidelines, and engage and educate patients to encourage self-care, prescription drug adherence, alignment with their care team and lifestyle improvement.   EHRs also incorporate process and quality measures that give providers the performance feedback they need for continuous improvement.

As reform efforts progress, health IT developers will continue to provide the innovative technologies that ensure long-term success.  It will be critical to expand current standards and develop new ones in response to new use cases, create new consumable electronic quality measures to support the multitude of payment reform programs, and increase collaboration between policymakers and technologists as this rapid evolution continues.  We are encouraging all stakeholders, including Congress and the federal government, to engage with EHR developers and the broader health IT community to lay the groundwork for and ensure the best use of technology toward the country’s important health improvement goals.

These are interesting times for the EHRA as we see the traditional lines between clinical and financial systems blurring, driving the need for adoption of innovative, advanced health IT.  The Delivery System Reform Workgroup plans to collaborate with other stakeholders also engaged in these important efforts to transform our healthcare system to one driven by increased access and improved outcomes.  Contact Angie Gorden (agorden@himss.org) to schedule a call to discuss our shared objectives and opportunities to make our united voices heard.

 

Suzanne Travis (McKesson), DSR Workgroup Chair

Chris Emper (NextGen), DSR Workgroup Past Vice Chair

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