HIT me with your best shot
Wm. T. Oravecz
This Wednesday, September 29, the eHealth Connecticut Regional Extension Center held a summit on the “Meaningful Use of Electronic Health Records: a Practitioner’s Guide” in Trumbull, CT. The event was very well attended. I would estimate well over 300 professionals there. Aside from the 26 vendors that were exhibiting their products and services, a very respectable attendance and presentations were offered from leaders from the US Department of HHS Office of the National Coordinator-HIT, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, State of Connecticut Departments of Public Health and Social Services, the eHealthCT REC, University of Connecticut School of Medicine, Connecticut Pharmacists Association as well as physician representatives from Community Health Centers, Inc., Capital Community College, ProHealth Physicians, Staywell Health Center, East Granby Family Practice and Quinnipiac Internal Medicine.
The discussions focused on the tremendous resources and value proposition being offer by eHealthCT REC, the support oversight being provided by the ONC-HIT to the REC, and first hand experiences of local primary care physicians that have been early adopters, sharing their motivations, challenges they encountered, lessons-learned and how they would never turn back to a paper-based patient care system. The topics included:
- Introduction to eHealthCT REC: What’s in it for Connecticut Providers?
- Using and EHR for Patient-Centered, Connected Medicine
- Meaningful Exchange of Health Information
- Working Together to Transform Health Care in Connecticut
- Using a Connected EHR System to Enhance Patient Service Delivery, Efficiency and Care Quality
- Lessons from the Field – The Physician’s Perspective
One theme that was so important with respect to EHR implementation was the review of current workflows and the subsequent streamlining of them. Also, “Do not work for the EHR, make the EHR work for you.” “Enlist champions in your practice to help you with the practice implementation.” “Make sure you have good, reliable IT support.” Don’t be at the mercy of your vendor, engage a consultant to help you.”
It was clear at the end of the evening. The debate is now done. It’s time to act.