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New Health IT Survey for Care Management Services Shows Opportunities for Integration, Standardization and Innovation
Date:8/20/2008

Survey Report Is Available at http://www.TCSHealthcare.com

AUBURN, Calif., Aug. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- A new survey released today documents current trends in how health care professionals are leveraging health information technology (HIT) systems to support care management interventions. The survey results highlight the need for many HIT applications to offer more functionality, standardization and interoperability to optimize clinical and financial outcomes for patients.

Rob Pock, TCS Healthcare Technologies Founder and CEO, notes "survey respondents report a wide variety of HIT platforms in use with different orientations and attributes. Medical management organizations appear to implement and use a number of approaches to optimize workflows that are developed both in-house and through vendor applications. For example, 64 percent of the respondents report using multiple systems in contrast to 17 percent who rely on one system. Not surprisingly, just 20 percent indicated that their system is fully integrated and interoperable with other external IT applications."

Pock elaborated too that "the survey findings warrant follow-up discussion by health care thought leaders regarding: 1) the lack of standardized information technology platforms currently available that support the care management process; and 2) the need to define better ways to popularize successful strategies. On the positive side, we are pleased to note that a period of remarkable innovation is emerging."

Cheri Lattimer, RN, BSN, CMSA Executive Director, observes that "although the practice of nursing and medicine has been transformed with the advent and adoption of electronics and computers, the application of health IT systems as a tool to support care management is still evolving. As a result, leveraging technology to improve medical management intervention strategies should remain a high priority in terms of both public health and reduced medical costs. CMSA is pleased to have participated in this important study which focuses attention on these important public policy issues."

Pat Stricker, RN, M.Ed., Vice-President of Clinical and Client Services at TCS and one of the principle researchers for the study, notes that "satisfaction levels appear to be mixed in terms of how the survey participants rate their experiences with care management software applications and electronic health record (EHR) systems. Surprisingly, only 22 percent of the survey respondents reported that their care management software applications allow them to spend more time with their patients."

TCS Healthcare Technologies (TCS) sponsored this survey with support from the American Board of Quality Assurance and Utilization Review Physicians, Inc. (ABQAURP) and the Case Management Society of America (CMSA). Over 500 individuals participated in this survey, which featured 30 detailed questions. The respondents represented a comprehensive cross-section of healthcare professionals: one-third are practicing clinicians; one-third are administrators; and roughly half work for a care management organization (CMO).

A complimentary copy of the survey analysis entitled "2008 Health Information Technology Highlights: A Review of How Technology Is Changing the Practice of Case Management," is available for download at http://www.tcshealthcare.com. The White Paper is co-authored by Stricker, Garry Carneal, JD, MA, former President and CEO of URAC, and Jeff Fraiter, RN, BSN, CCM, CMSA's President.

TCS Healthcare Technologies (http://www.tcshealthcare.com) is a leading provider of software and clinical solutions that improve medical management (UM/CM/DM) performance and effectiveness for health plans, insurers, providers, third party administrators, medical management companies, and others , who serve the private and public sectors. For more information about TCS, call (530) 886-1700 ext. 211 or go to http://www.tcshealthcare.com.


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