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ONC Calls for Long-Term and Post-Acute Care to Adopt HIT

 Momentum is building toward widespread adoption of EHRs, and long-term and post-acute care (LTPAC) providers will be required to use EHR data exchange and clinical reporting to participate in initiatives such as pay-for-performance models, according to Judy Murphy, RN, FACMI, FHIMSS, FAAN, deputy national coordinator for programs & policy, Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), Department of Health & Human Services.  

Murphy delivered the keynote address during the annual Long-Term and Post-Acute Care Health Information Technology Summit of the LTPAC HIT Collaborative in Baltimore.  

“2012 is the year of meaningful use and the time for health information technology is now,” Murphy said.  “Interoperability and health information exchange are major priorities for ONC moving forward.  The goal is to assure that information follows patients whenever and wherever they seek care.  It is essential for LTPAC providers to invest in technology to support these goals.”

Priorities for LTPAC HIT in ONC stage 2 meaningful use criteria include the ability to generate longitudinal care plans, transition of care documents, and patient assessment summaries.

Murphy outlined ONC efforts to engage LTPAC providers, including advancing LTPAC interoperability through the ONC Standards and Interoperability Framework and four LTPAC challenge grants through the state-based health information exchange programs in Massachusetts, Maryland, Oklahoma, and Colorado.  

The focus of these efforts is to improve long-term and post-acute care transitions, and extensions to the Consolidated Clinical Document Architecture are being proposed to meet the needs of long-term care.

According to Murphy, provider adoption of EHR systems has grown significantly in recent years.  Physician adoption has increased from 17% to 57% since 2002 and hospital adoption has more than doubled since 2009 from 16% to 35%.

“Today’s clinical environment requires caring for an individual in the right care setting, at the right time, for the right medical condition and at the right cost,” said John Derr, RPh, Golden Living LLC, a cofounder of the LTPAC HIT Summit.  “We now see LTPAC patients move from care setting to care setting depending on their requirements for chronic disease, short-term rehabilitation or management of an episodic incident.

“This new world demands that our industry create integrated electronic medical record and EHR systems that meet ONC criteria for functionality, privacy of patients’ information, and the ability for information to be exchanged between multiple health care organizations.”

Source: AHIMA