November 29, 2012
Rating systems will soon apply not only to clinical professionals, provider organizations, and managed care programs – but also to electronic health record (EHR) systems. We covered this interesting new twist in our recent article, Feds To Rank EHRs On Effectiveness Of Patient Education Materials . The Agency for Health Care Research and Quality (AHRQ) is planning to rank the effectiveness of patient education materials delivered by EHRs by developing a Health Information Rating System (HIRS). While this rating system is still in development, AHRQ has announced the final system will rate EHRs’ abilities to deliver health education materials that are:
Understandable to consumers of diverse backgrounds and varying degrees of health literacy
Actionable for these consumers, allowing them to can do based on the information presented
Some of these consumer-oriented themes were echoed in the report Behavioral Health Roundtable: Using Information Technology to Integrate Behavioral Health & Primary Care , released in September, 2012 by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONCHIT). This report was developed through a consensus process from a day-long behavioral health IT roundtable meeting of private and public sector stakeholders with representatives from consumer, provider, payer, HIE, professional association, vendor, health IT certification, and government representatives. The roundtable participants agreed that patient education about privacy rights and the consequences of sharing of health care data should be industry priorities.
Both the AHRQ initiative and the ONCHIT roundtable recommendations are consistent with the recent trends we’ve seen around consumer empowerment through transparency of information. The proposed HIPAA mandate that consumers have more control of their own health information (see HHS Proposes Stronger Patient Control for Health Information all members), the Meaningful Use (MU) elective benchmark requiring patients have timely electronic access to their health information (see A Meaningful Use Update: The Information You Need To Know all members), and the MU Stage 3 emphasis on patient engagement (see Meaningful Use Stage 3 Comments Period Opens With An Emphasis On Patient Engagement on FierceEMR) are all consistent with an industry-wide move towards increased control and transparency for consumers.
These EHR rankings are a taste of things to come, and future competitive positioning depends on them. When your EHR’s is ranked, what will it tell consumers about your organization?
Monica E. Oss
Chief Executive Officer, OPEN MINDS
For another free resource, see: Building a Smarter Treatment Plan: A Lesson in Improving Care, Optimizing Staff Time, and Reducing Costs all members
This is free for the next sixty days to all registered OPEN MINDS Circle members.