We are in the midst of healthcare transformation where information technology (IT) is at the center. As a result, we now have a good foundation to realize the value of health IT leading to improved clinical outcomes, financial stewardship and population management.
Within this section, you will find information to assist you in finding available state and national data resources along with points to consider when discussing/reviewing data results with your local healthcare systems and/or providers.
Health IT & Data Resources
Below is a list of available resources to view your own state data and/or information related to Health IT.
Data Sources available from AHRQ : The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) offers a comprehensive list of data sources, to assist you in getting the data you seek.
Health Information Exchange (HIE) : involves the electronic sharing and the organization sharing health-related information. HIE provides an exchange of information statewide, regionally and locally along with providing governance and management of the exchange process. Additionally, the HIE can reduce operational costs and duplication of services. On the link above, you can find further information about The State Health Information Exchange Cooperative Agreement Program and The Nationwide Health Information Network Exchange.
Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Uniform Data System (UDS) : Each year health center program grantees report on their performance using the measures defined in the Uniform Data System (UDS). This page provides grantees information on how to collect and submit their data. You can also access state data for program grantees and individual health center profiles.
ONC Dashboard : The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) supports the adoption of health information technology and the promotion of nationwide health information exchange to improve health care. ONC is organizationally located within the Office of the Secretary for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The dashboard includes summary information about all of ONC’s HITECH grant programs, including their location, funding amount, and contact information.
Physician Experience With Electronic Health Record Systems That Meet Meaningful Use Criteria: NAMCS Physician Workflow Survey, 2011: Survey results showing national adoption of electronic health records by providers.
Regional Extension Centers: The ONC’s Regional Extension Centers (RECs), are located in every region of the country and serve as a support and resource center to assist with EHR implementation and HealthIT needs. Go here to find your local REC:
Regional Extension Centers (REC)
How to find the REC in your state
State Health Center Data – HRSA : Find your individual state health center grantees data by way of the Uniform Data System (UDS). See aggregate or individual health center information to include patient demographics, clinical measures, staffing and financials.
The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) Product List : Here you can enter the name of the electronic health record being used by your healthcare providers to see the possible reporting abilities, including clinical quality measures aligned with the National Quality Forum (NQF) Measures.
Points to Consider
What information are you looking for (i.e. patients where a blood pressure or hemoglobin A1c was recorded, determine the time period for data retrieval along with who to include, as in only 18 and over)
What available data will help you find the information (i.e. a blood pressure or hemoglobin A1c result)
What is the process for data retrieval (i.e. paper based records or an electronic health record)
Does the process above adequately capture the information you have requested (for example, when pulling the information into a report does the process pull all of the blood pressures or hemoglobin A1c results from anywhere in the chart or only if recorded in one particular spot? This can be a limitation within automated reports utilizing an electronic health record. Lab results and clinical measures such as a blood pressure may be recorded in a flow sheet, the office note, or another place. The report may be set up to only pull from one area resulting in an incomplete report)
Once receiving the report, what does this information tell you? This is a critical aspect when reviewing a report. Not only looking at the raw data but what does this information tell you?
Another very important step is to make sure you now have a plan on what to do with the information you have received as well as looking at opportunities for improvement. Many will call this a quality improvement (QI) or process improvement (PI) plan.