Friday, July 01, 2011

Some Lessons We All Need To Keep in Mind. Some Good Thoughts Here!

The following long article appeared a little while ago.

The 12 Elements of a Successful Health IT Project

June 23, 2011

Editor’s Note: Kim Lamb is the executive director of the Oregon Health Network, a membership-based nonprofit organization building the first statewide broadband telehealth network in Oregon. Part of the FCC’s Rural Health Care Pilot Program, the network’s mission is to provide all Oregonians, regardless of location, with access to the best possible health care.

America’s health-care landscape is more complex and multidimensional than ever. Over the past five years, acronyms, federal mandates and funding streams have bombarded decision-makers in a number of health care-related industries. From core operational infrastructure systems to billing, scheduling, electronic medical records and administration, health care has transitioned from being a delivery system that's designed and managed within a silo to one that needs to communicate in real time to the rest of the policymaking continuum.

Health-care executives, providers and administrators, along with local and federal politicians, are tasked with addressing the pressing health-care, economic and work force needs of their constituents. But these issues are increasingly difficult to deal with, particularly because decision-makers aren’t given the broader context of health IT to help them prioritize solutions. The new emphasis on patient-centered care requires collaboration and coordination at the federal, state and regional levels — and full interoperability of hardware, software, payer systems and patient care.

Formerly reserved for those with money and resources to invest, health IT is no longer optional. It’s a core requirement for all providers and agencies that play a role in the health-care continuum. Furthermore, health IT’s adoption and use go beyond the traditional quest for pure competitive advantage; health IT is truly the only effective means to survive and thrive.

At the federal level, the government is working to remodel the country’s core health-care delivery system. Through the Rural Health Care Pilot Program (RHCPP), the FCC is building the next-generation broadband infrastructure for health-care delivery.

Oregon Health Network (OHN), a participant in the RHCPP, is building a statewide broadband telehealth network — the first in Oregon and one of the first in the country. OHN supports the “Triple Aim,” a revolutionary philosophy adopted by several key organizations, including the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The goals of the Triple Aim are to improve the population's health, enhance the patient's experience of care (including quality, access and reliability) and reduce — or at least control — per capita costs.

The 12 Best IT Practices for the Health-Care Community

As executive director of OHN, I’m very familiar with the challenges providers face. We developed the following list of best practices to help health-care executives, providers and administrators recognize the critical elements required to implement and support a viable health IT infrastructure at the facility, state and national levels. This framework isn’t based on the latest developments in grants, mandates or technology. It’s grounded upon the proven business and technological expertise and resources required to develop a viable health IT program. These 12 health IT best practices are recommended guidelines to help you and your team understand what’s required to achieve success, what you can influence (and what you cannot), and the partners and support systems needed for success.

1. Strategy and vision: Form follows function

Until recently, the national health-care community hasn’t had a commonly shared health IT solution goal. Decisions were made at the ground level, within the system walls created by providers, executives and administrators. But the recent adoption of the Triple Aim changes all that. We now have a national framework to build from and within.

The first step to any well-laid health IT plan is to take the time and effort to clarify strategy and goals. Form must follow function. Think about your goals as a health-care provider and/or facility: How do you (or will you) measure success as a result of your health IT strategy and plan? And even more importantly, how does your plan align with that of surrounding communities, and with state and national plans?

In Oregon, the Health Information Technology Oversight Council, the Department of Human Services, Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems, the Oregon Health Network and many individual hospitals throughout the state look to the Triple Aim to guide strategy, planning, coordination and investment efforts.

Plan and build with the end in mind: an integrated national health-care delivery system.

More here with the other 11 Best Practices:

http://www.govtech.com/health/12-Elements-Successful-Health-IT-Project.html

Very worthwhile article to see how someone else sees what is important to get success with Health IT.

David.

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