From the time we’re toddlers we are told that sharing is the right thing to do, that sharing is nice. As adults in the healthcare IT field, we are finding that sharing is more than nice, it’s necessary. Behavioral health facilities in Colorado are a prime example.
I recently received a pleasantly surprising e-mail from a clinician and colleague here at Child Guidance Center which read, “I feel like a six year old girl getting her Christmas gift early!” When you help manage an organization’s internal IT, the emails you receive typically contain more problems than praise.
At the end of every referral — at the heart of every transaction – at the core of every data point – is a living, breathing person. We all intuitively know that’s true, but in the busyness of daily life – yes, even in healthcare – it’s vital that we’re reminded of that essential truth.
The public health sector and local health departments (LHDs) across the country are seeing a big swing in the services they provide – moving from a solely traditional population health model to that of a primary care provider for the population that they serve. As this shift occurs, it’s imperative that LHDs are laser-focused on patient care and not on cumbersome paper shuffling. Family planning annual reports are required by the Office of Population Affairs (OPA) to monitor compliance, show…
“A systemic approach to analyze published research as the basis of clinical decision making.” That’s how evidence-based medicine was first defined more than two decades ago. And it makes sense doesn’t it? The best treatment philosophies are born of experience – and if we can draw from our collective experience we give ourselves the best chance of improving outcomes. Evidence-based treatment (EBT) in medicine has been embraced for years, but in the behavioral setting we have struggled to implement it…
Prescription and over-the-counter medications are milestone medical advances that impact how we treat and prevent illness. Medication therapies for individuals with behavioral health conditions have become much more prevalent and accepted in the past 10 years. Nonetheless, it is primary care physicians that prescribe the majority of behavioral health medications; overall, 67 percent of psychopharmacologic drugs are prescribed by primary care physicians (Rural Health Advisory Committee, 2005).
A major advantage of a great EHR is it’s potential to increase client safety through preventing and detecting human errors. In Meaningful Use Stage 2 (the ONC 2014 Certified Solution) there is a requirement for Safety Enhanced Design (170.314(g)(3). This requirement focuses on user-centered design processes for eight different areas (listed below). The report is mandatory for a complete EHR certification and is published on the ONC’s website.
Much of Meaningful Use Stage 2 (MUS2) is about data exchange and consumer engagement, with the ultimate goal being to impact the lives of clients positively.
The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH Act) outlined the adoption of electronic health records (EHRs) through Meaningful Use. The MU requirements include functional capabilities for clinical decision support rules. Any organization or provider going after MU incentive dollars are getting acquainted with decision support functionalities.
The changes we’re facing in behavioral health and substance abuse treatment are breaking long-standing barriers within and between organizations. Because of technical advancements, we’ve joined other industries in exchanging client data…allowing us to treat the whole person. This is the most profound change within care delivery processes…at least in my lifetime.