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VHA plays leading role in health information technology implementation and research
Date:2/21/2013

nging HIT platforms, and changing expectations of patients, health care providers, and payers. "To map out a meaningful research agenda, we must think forward five to ten years," according to Drs. Atkins and Cullen.

From their perspective at the leading edge of HIT, they outline some of the broad trends affecting HIT, now and in the future. These include:

  • The emergence of "connected health"technology will play a central role in medical decision-making, and will supplant an increasing proportion of in-person health care visits.

  • Patients' increasing control over their health information and who has access to it.

  • The increased role of HIT tools to promote and assist patient behavior change.

  • Standardized data allowing the performance of health care systems to be assessed in "real time," for the entire population of patients.

Drs. Atkins and Cullen also identify and discuss "distinct sets of questions that are ripe for research" in using HIT for quality improvement, from the standpoint of patients, health care teams, and health care managers.

New Research on HIT to Improve Quality of Care

The special issue also presents eight original research papers using HIT for quality improvement within the VHA system. The studies "highlight a range of specific HIT approaches, including innovative and interactive uses of the VA's electronic health record, databases, and information systems; and applications of automated systems for intervention, evaluation and tracking patient care," writes Denise M. Hynes, MPH, PhD, RN, Research Career Scientist and Director of the VA Information Resource Center, in an introductory overview.

For example, one study evaluates the use of electronic kiosks as a way to help improve care outcomes for veterans with schizophrenia. Other HIT approaches evaluated include a system for secure messaging between patients and health care providers, a "home telehealth"
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Contact: Connie Hughes
connie.hughes@wolterskluwer.com
646-674-6348
Wolters Kluwer Health
Source:Eurekalert

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