CMSA Today - Issue 6, 2013 - (Page 6)

President’s Letter Are You Helping Pave Technology’s Path? “Acquiring preemptive knowledge about emerging technologies is the best way to ensure that we have a say in the making of our future.” —Catarina Mota H ealth Information Technology and the alphabet soup of related concepts – EMR, EHR, PHR, CPOE, EDI, ELR, BHIE, CCD, MU, PGHD, and VLER* – have pervaded the practice of care coordination for the past five to ten years. Some care managers have embraced both of these terms and the technology that has brought these innovative actions to their daily practices. Others have disputed the efficacy of enhanced technology while citing gaps in the ability of technology to facilitate improved care for the average health care consumer. A third group of care coordinators seek to avoid or postpone the utilization of these advancements because they may limit the creative initiatives employed by care coordinators to advance appropriate continuing care interventions for the patient. Whether we are accepting of new technology or are reluctant to embrace it, a revolution of technological advances is here. It touches or will touch every aspect of our practices. If we do * 6 not participate in the development, implementation, and consistent evaluation of those systems, we will not be able to fulfill our responsibilities to our patients, nor pave the innovation and technology pathways that future care coordination teams will tread. Case management and care coordination have been identified as an essential element of health care delivery worldwide. In order to meet the challenges associated with that responsibility, we must utilize every tool that is available to our patients, their providers, and the funders of that care, including established and emerging technologies. Electronic technology and systems impact every area of our daily lives. For example, the act of purchasing groceries is dependent on computers that scan and price each item. The clerk processes payment through a credit card or offers change based on directives from those systems. Inventories are updated in real-time based on your purchase. We also utilize advanced technology when we communicate via wireless devices; pay bills electronically; learn through Internet courses and electronic readers; exchange comments and pictures via EMR, Electronic Medical Record; EHR, Electronic Health Record; PHR, Personal Health Record; CPOE, Computerized Physician Order Entry; EDI, Electronic Data Interchange; ELR, Electronic Lab Reporting; BHIE, Bidirectional Health Information Exchange; CCD®, Care Coordination Document; MU, Meaningful Use, PGHD, Patient-Generated Health Data; VLER, Virtual Lifetime Electronic Record. CMSA TODAY Issue 6 • 2013 • DIGITAL BY NANCY SKINNER, RN-BC, CCM Facebook; chat with family members and friends on Skype; and obtain information based on an ability to access over one trillion websites. However, health care delivery, communication, and coordination have not completely embraced the electronic age just yet. It is my belief that we are entering the first days of health information technology. The innovations that we struggle to bring forward today will, in a few short years, look like the gaming consoles of the 1980s. As gaming evolved from Pong and Pac-Man to games with 3-D graphics and amazing interactivity, so too will interoperable health care systems progress to the point that each person and every health care provider will have access to computer-based technology. I believe that technology and those systems will offer real-time information regarding the health care consumer’s health history, current health status, allergies, medication regimens, and maybe even genetic predisposition to disease development. Today, we lament the fragmentation of care delivery with providers and services offered in a variety of health care environments and systems. The next generation of health information technologies will seek to connect those silos of care; bringing together vital personal health information for all health care providers as well as the patients and their authorized caregivers/support systems. Yet, the implementation of those systems is often inhibited by concerns regarding the protection of personal health information, the cost of system development/purchase/ implementation, or an inability of our

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of CMSA Today - Issue 6, 2013

Are You Helping Pave Technology's Path?
Health IT and Vulnerable Populations: Barriers and Opportunities

CMSA Today - Issue 6, 2013