Five Ways EHRs Are Helping CDC Track COVID-19 Vaccinations

By the EHR Association COVID-19 Task Force

In December, two COVID-19 vaccines received authorization from the FDA, and the federal government began distribution to the states almost immediately. Millions of Americans have already received their first dose – many their second – and millions more will be vaccinated in the coming weeks and months. While social distancing, frequent hand washing, and face masks remain vital tools in limiting spread of coronavirus, we can increasingly see our way to a full return to hugs and handshakes, in-person meetings, travel, pubs and parties, concerts and classrooms.

As we anxiously await a return to our old way of life, public health experts, policymakers, and the public are watching the CDC vaccine data tracker, updated every evening with the latest numbers, including: 

  • How many vaccine doses have been distributed to-date? 
  • How many vaccines have been administered?
  • How many people have received their first dose? 
  • How many people have gotten a second dose?
  • Which vaccine is being administered?

But how does the CDC get all that data? The answer varies, but it’s made possible by technology, and electronic health records (EHRs) have been a key player from the beginning. 

Here are five ways that EHRs and the EHR Association are playing important roles in vaccine administration and data collection in the United States.

(more…)

EHRA and Public Health: Two-Way Communication in the Age of COVID-19

How EHRA’s COVID-19 Task Force is Supporting Providers and Public Health Agencies During the Pandemic

By Hans Buitendijk and David Bucciferro
EHR Association Chair and Vice Chair

Every organization in healthcare and public health has been prioritizing COVID-19 response, and the EHR Association is no exception. Our COVID-19 Task Force, created in the spring, continues to demonstrate its value to EHRA members and our provider and public health partners. From data collection to preparing for vaccines, EHRs play an important role in America’s response to the pandemic.  

In a recent interview for HIMSS TV, we explained that by creating a task force, we’re able to bring in a broad spectrum of individuals and knowledge from EHRA member companies – people who may not ordinarily actively participate in the Association, but who have specific interest and expertise in a topic. For instance, we stood up an Opioid Crisis Task Force in 2018 that is still active.  

(more…)

Because COVID-19 Didn’t Erase the Opioid Crisis… How Health IT Can Support Opioid Tapering Plans

Screen Shot 2020-05-18 at 6.37.00 PMThe COVID-19 crisis started to consume the United States just as it had been turning the corner on the most severe chapter of the opioid crisis. Opioid prescribing rates and drug overdose rates both remain distressingly high, and some patients on opioids are more vulnerable to impacts from COVID-19. At the same time, for patients with severe chronic pain, opioids are clinically indicated, and provide meaningful relief from a life of constant pain that could otherwise be debilitating. For these individuals, prescribers are often challenged with adhering to CDC guidelines and state laws that limit opioid use while effectively treating pain, and this is especially true for patients who have been treated with higher doses of opioids for extended periods of time. 

The EHR Association’s Opioid Crisis Task Force has written a white paper to comment on the role that health information technologies, including EHRs, can play in assisting physicians with responsible opioid tapering.
(more…)

Coronavirus: How EHRs Are Supporting Clinicians

For updated COVID-19 resources for health IT developers and other stakeholders, click here.

Coronavirus-badge-300As cases of COVID-19 caused by the novel coronavirus continue to be identified in more and more locations, clinicians are understandably concerned with the challenge of diagnosing potential cases among their patients presenting with flu-like symptoms. EHR developers have prepared for crises like this, and resources embedded in EHRs can help. (more…)

Health IT and Social Determinants of Health

https://www.healthypeople.gov/2020/topics-objectives/topic/social-determinants-of-health

In a recent post on the Allscripts Blog, Leigh Burchell, Chair of the EHRA Public Policy Leadership Workgroup and EHRA Opioid Task Force, shared her perspective on policy issues surrounding social determinants of health. She notes that, “it is generally accepted that there is a correlation between social determinants of health and patient outcomes.”
(more…)

How EHR Technology Can Support Best Practices for Opioid Prescribing

By Dan Seltzer and Alan Staples
Co-chairs, Clinician Impact Subgroup, EHRA Opioid Crisis Task Force

screenshot_2018-12-26 ehra cdc opioid guideline implementation guide for ehrs - ehra-cdc-opioid-guideline-implementation-gu[...]The widespread opioid epidemic and its devastating effects flood our news feeds daily. No one is immune, which is why when the Electronic Health Record Association (EHRA) asked for volunteers to join a new Opioid Crisis Task Force, we and many others – including doctors, nurses, and pharmacists – stepped forward to share our experiences and expertise. For the past year, we have been conducting research and providing recommendations on new ways EHR technology can contribute solutions to help solve the complex puzzle of the opioid crisis.

Our most recent contribution is the CDC Opioid Guideline – Implementation Guide for Electronic Health Records.

Initial research and conversations with providers focused on the question, What do providers need from technology to support their efforts in the opioid crisis?  The input we received led us to develop a guide to assist healthcare organizations implement clinical practice guidelines within the EHR to improve opioid stewardship in clinical practice.   (more…)

  • Categories

  • Follow EHRA on Twitter

  • Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 169 other followers

  • Contact Us

    Kristi Feliksik
    kfeliksik @ ehra.org

    Elinore Boeke
    Communications and Media
    elinore @ kecommunications.net