If you could give a voice to those who can’t speak for themselves, if you could speed care and improve the mental, physical and social well-being of those most in need – all the while saving money – would you do it? Not surprisingly, providers answer “yes,” and these outcomes are being realized with the help of health IT.
That’s why we’re excited to share just a few of those success stories in marking National Health IT Week. Innovation isn’t easy, but no worthwhile task is.
In Oklahoma, Red Rock Behavioral Health Services leaders had an ambitious goal to use information technology to transform lives. Their focus, as Red Rock Medical Director Dr. Vivian Hasbrook described it, was to reap the benefits of interoperability “through improved physical and psychological outcomes, as well as quality of care.” It is happening. Already, provider access to data through connectivity with the SMRTNET statewide Health Information Exchange (HIE) has proven invaluable. “From a manic woman who had numerous food and drug allergies she couldn’t recall and a man who was presenting at numerous area ERs seeking narcotics, to a woman who had made 138 ER visits in the previous year, and a depressive, suicidal man with an alcohol dependency who was actually a victim of domestic violence,” says Red Rock MIS Director Robert Lacy.
In Pennsylvania, Marworth Alcohol & Chemical Dependency Treatment Center staff were drowning in paperwork as they sought to bring high-level care to patients. It is happening. With seamless electronic integration of information, they’re able to spend more time with those clients, instead of “focusing on the legibility of the chart,” says Maria Kolcharno, Marworth Director of Admissions.
In Oregon, LifeWorks NW and Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center envisioned a holistic treatment model for physical and mental illnesses. Now, as Laura Byerly, M.D., medical director at Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center explains, they’re using an electronic system that “delivers the right data to the right place at the right time, and enables earlier identification and treatment of acute and behavioral issues. Yes, it is happening.
National Health IT Week isn’t really about technology. It’s about how health IT can be a catalyst for improving people’s lives. And we’re proud to say, it is, in fact, happening.