Health Information Technology
How well can a provider know a patient? With Health Information Technology (Health IT) and Electronic Health Records (EHR), it’s easier than ever for providers to gather and access comprehensive, up-to-date patient information and monitor a patient’s health. The latest technology takes the place of handwritten patient records and helps physicians efficiently manage their practices.
Connections between Technical and
Physicians across the nation are switching to approved EHRs and demonstrating Meaningful Use (MU) in order to qualify for Medicare and Medicaid incentive payments.
On Hawai‘i Island, HIBC and the Hawai‘i Pacific Regional Extension Center (HPREC) assisted Primary Care Physicians (PCPs) with EHRs and MU by providing technical training and support at no charge. Services ranged from EHR selection and configuration to troubleshooting and vendor interfacing. The HIBC aim was that 60 percent or more of the island PCPs achieve Stage 1 MU by the end of 2012. Of the participating 138 primary care providers, 82 are eligible for Medicare incentive payments as of March 2013. Of this group 61 percent have achieved Stage 1 MU. The remaining 56 providers will apply for Medicaid incentive payments. It is important to note that 51 of 56 (91%) Medicaid providers are on certified EHRs and ready to attest. However, due to State-level delays, Medicaid providers are not anticipated to receive incentive payments until third quarter 2013. Once the State incentive program is in place, HIBC and the HPREC expects to rapidly move the Medicaid providers to attestation for Stage 1 MU.
The following are HIBC’s key accomplishments:
- Provided EHR vendor selection, implementation and adoption.
- Provided additional services including EHR network configuration and installation, network and hardware support.
- Provided assistance with HIPPA compliance, CMS/PECOS registration and management.
- Achieved 61 percent Stage 1 MU for 82 Medicare providers.
- Created Green Book of health IT technology resources for physician offices.
- Collaborated with several organizations to achieve rapid adoption.
Hawaii Pacific Regional Extension Center (REC) is working in conjunction with HIBC to help PCPs on Hawaii Island implement EHR software and demonstrate MU.
- 1) Providers are small business owners with limited time and resources. Quick results, consistent follow-through and a high degree of professionalism are essential for rapid adoption.
- 2) Providers may be resistant to implementing new technologies in their practice due to various reasons. Providing free or low-cost IT support to those challenged by new technology is also essential for rapid adoption.
- 3) Receptionists and office managers are the key entry point to physician practices. Gaining trust and making a strong initial presentation is important in gaining access to the practice.