Primary Care Patient Management and Health Information Technology

Primary Care Patient Management and Health Information Technology

Nina Multak (Drexel University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-2671-3.ch006


Electronic Health Records (EHR) are a system of Health Information Technology (HIT) components including clinical documentation, medication orders, laboratory and diagnostic study results, management, and evidence based clinical decision support. In this case, a patient’s care is compromised because of incomplete documentation of medical information and lack of integration among data collection systems. The patient has had over fifty years of medical care in a U.S. government health system followed by care in a private primary care setting. Effective implementation and utilization of EHRs in primary care settings, will positively affect patient safety and quality of care. Appropriate use of EHR provides challenges to clinicians, HIT developers, and healthcare administrators. Provision of quality patient care utilizing HIT is challenging to use and implement, but when patients receive healthcare from multiple sources, the challenge becomes even greater. The need for integrated EHR systems is evident in the geriatric population (Ash, et al., 2009), where the ability to provide data to new clinicians may be affected by cognitive decline in this population. Management of health and chronic conditions in the geriatric population requires an ongoing commitment to HIT implementation for safer and more effective care.
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Outpatient ambulatory care providers need HIT to improve outcomes and assist in the provision of effective healthcare. The exchange of information between users and collaborative decision-making about patient care using HIT systems will contribute to the development of healthcare safety protocols and enable an effective flow of information between providers and among healthcare systems. The cooperation of multiple health professionals and institutions will contribute to the development of effective systems, which meet the needs of the users and provide safer healthcare.

In this chapter, the reader will identify and describe methods of electronic data exchange utilized in the primary care setting including common challenges, identify and describe features of electronic health records which support quality care measurement (flags, alarms, charts), review the use of templates in electronic health records which provide clinician support for specific medical conditions, identify effective electronic patient education services including telemedicine and patient portals, and to identify and review issues affecting geriatric health literacy and strategies to assist these patients with health care navigation.

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