Imagine being a patient who arrives at the clinic and can really sense that the providers are ready to meet your needs!
Imagine knowing that your whole care team sat down a week in advance to review your disease course over the last six months, track down any missing lab results, and troubleshoot with colleagues to figure out why it’s been so tough to keep your disease in remission. Imagine getting a call from the nurse a full week before clinic to ask what has been going on since your last visit and, as a result, the social worker is in clinic and ready to discuss solutions to the issues you are having at school. Imagine the lab having your orders well in advance so that the collection tube that they have to use, but don’t keep stocked, is ready and waiting. This time you don’t have to wait while they run down to the supply room, making you late for school and your parents late for work.
The automated pre-visit planning tools that ImproveCareNow centers are now able to use will help make scenarios just like these a reality. Providers will have detailed summary information about their patients available at their fingertips when they need it…before the visit. They will have a concise, printable tool that can be easily shared with the rest of the care team. Ideally, this tool will be used to guide conversations with parents and patients before they come to clinic so that they can be a part of planning their visit, not just passive participants in it.
The result will be more reliable, proactive and individualized pediatric IBD care.
[editor's note: submitted by Sarah Myers, MPH, RN | Lead Quality Improvement Consultant for the ImproveCareNow Network]
e-Patient Nikolai (Kolya) Kirienko’s White House testimony is a must read if you feel it’s essential to have a voice and visibility into your own healthcare.
Testimony of Nikolai Kirienko
Project Director, Crohnology.MD
University of California, Berkeley
Incorporating Patient-generated Information to Manage Health
HIT Policy Committee Hearing
June 8, 2012
On June 19th, I was honored to represent the ImproveCareNow network and other learning networks at a White House meeting on how Health Information Technology (health IT or HIT) can improve health outcomes.
Present were about 75 leaders from institutions and practices that have advanced the use of health IT to improve care and outcomes. In his opening remarks, Farzad Mostashari, MD, Director of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health (ONC) IT made a number of important points:
- The number of offices using electronic medical records (EMRs) has doubled and about half (2,400) hospitals in the US now have EMRs
- Increasing the use of health IT faces many challenges: workforce training, data sharing, privacy and security. The opportunity is to move beyond simply implementing new technology to using health IT to improve care and outcomes. ONC is particularly interested in how to turn data collection through electronic health records into a quality improvement program and so invited groups like ours.
- What’s unique about HIT is how fast it can adapt and change in response to needs and feedback
- And it’s important to harness the knowledge within the field. For me, this was the most important message of the day and one that’s right in line with what we’re doing in the ImproveCareNow Network and C3N Project. It’s our responsibility to share the knowledge of all – patients, clinicians, and researchers to make health care better. If patients and clinicians don’t speak up and share what they know, patients will suffer by not getting the best care
During the conference participants shared numerous examples of how HIT and the Affordable Care Act are working to make care better, more efficient and cheaper
- HIT helps to engage patients in collaboration in addressing their problems. “You use it in collaboration with patients to guide their care.” Mike Zeroukian, MD
- Charles Kennedy, MD Aetna. “We will increasingly see health insurers pay for health information exchange and better use of data.”
Participants also noted the many limitations of current technologies including:
- Ways for patients to share information among providers
- The need for greater public awareness about individual vendors’ willingness and action in making data sharing possible across systems
- The need for public usability ratings for EMRs (like Consumer Reports) to spawn greater competition in meeting the needs of practicing clinicians
- The need for EMR vendors need to learn about how to support QI
Overall, it was clear that administration officials were listening and that much excellent work is taking place in the field. It’s a pleasure to be able to represent the work of ImproveCareNow and the C3N Project, which is one of several data and knowledge sharing networks for kids with chronic illness. Networks such as ours will be the way of the HIT future.