Electronic Health Record Implementation in the United States Healthcare Industry: Making the Process of Change Manageable

Electronic Health Record Implementation in the United States Healthcare Industry: Making the Process of Change Manageable

Michelle Lee D’Abundo (University of North Carolina at Wilmington, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-2181-7.ch018
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Abstract

The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act (2009) was legislation passed focused on improving health care delivery and patient care in America through the development of health information technology (HIT). The mission of this chapter is to review how American health care practitioners and organizations will integrate one aspect of HIT, the use of Electronic Health Records (EHRs), into the workplace. While objectives and deadlines have been established and aligned with incentives for the meaningful use of EHRs, it seems the missing component is a strategic plan that could be applied by health care organizations to guide the implementation process. The use of a program planning model is suggested to frame a strategic implementation process informed by principles of change management.
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Introduction

Electronic Health Records (EHRs) will have a significant impact on health care practitioners, organizations and the industry as a whole. EHRs are part of the larger national initiative focused on health information technology (HIT), which is the exchange of health information in an electronic environment. The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act (2009) is legislation focused on improving health care delivery and patient care in America through development of health information technology (The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, 2011). The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) coordinates the administration’s HIT efforts. Consequently, the discussion of EHRs falls under the larger umbrella of HIT.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Health Information Technology Adoption Toolbox: A compilation of planning, implementation and evaluation resources to help community health centers, other safety net providers, and ambulatory care providers implement HIT initiatives.

Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act (2009): Legislation passed focused on improving the American health care delivery and patient care through development of health information technology.

Workforce Development Program: Consists of four initiatives - Community College Consortia, Curriculum Development Centers, Competency Exam Program, and University-Based that provide training to health care providers to implement HIT initiatives in their practices.

Caffarella Model of Program Development (1988): A general model of program planning that is tailored to the development of training in the workplace.

Health Information Technology (HIT): The umbrella term used to describe all digital or computer based initiatives in health care.

Health Information Exchange (HIE): The sharing of patient health records among providers and organization to encourage care coordination that prevents duplication of services thus improving care while reducing healthcare costs.

Electronic Health Records (EHRs): Digital (computerized) versions of patients’ paper charts that include information from current and past doctors, emergency facilities, school and workplace clinics, pharmacies, laboratories, and medical imaging facilities.

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