HIT Improves Chronic and Complex Care

Health information technology (HIT) innovation will positively impact and enhance physicians' ability to deliver effective care.

Health information technology (HIT) innovation will positively impact and enhance physicians’ ability to deliver effective care. Researchers are consistently reinforcing HIT’s potential through projects designed to improve patient outcomes and increase physician-patient engagement. The “Improving Management of Individuals with Complex Healthcare Needs through Health IT” (MCP) initiative is just 1 of 5 grant programs from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) working to provide such research.

These grant programs address a number of issues ranging from medication adherence to management of chronic illnesses like heart disease. The aim of these projects is to see how HIT can foster team collaboration, encourage shared decision making, and improve the exchanging of patient data or accessibility of electronic health records.

“The MCP initiative was designed to identify and evaluate methods and strategies for both clinician and patient and family use of health IT in ambulatory settings to improve outcomes through more effective decision support or care delivery for patients with complex health care needs and across high-risk health care transitions,” read the AHRQ report. “The goal was to strengthen the evidence demonstrating the value of health IT in improving the quality and safety of ambulatory care for patients with complex health care needs, for use by health care professionals, payers, policymakers, and the public.”

Evidence-based research on the value in HIT, like that found in the AHRQ report, will be critical in ensuring that the focus of care is more patient centered. Although technology itself does not bring improvement, it can enhance a provider’s current ability to deliver appropriate care and to support a patient by more effective means.

Around the Web

Health IT can improve care coordination for complex conditions [Fierce Health IT]

AHRQ Health Information Technology Ambulatory Safety and Quality [AHRQ]