In today’s healthcare system, information technology is the foundation of the future. Patient care has become a primary focus in the development of new concepts and knowledge in healthcare technology. Care Resource’s Patient Portal located at careresource.org allows patients to connect with Care Resource in a convenient, safe, and secure environment to access their medical records, schedule an appointment, and renew their medications and more. Benefits also include reduced expenses associated with the manual printing, scanning and faxing of documents, including paper and ink costs, as well as the maintenance of associated office machinery. The physical mailing of patient charts and records, and phone communication to verify delivery of traditional communications and referrals is reduced. The time and effort involved in recovering missing patient information, including any duplicate tests required to recover such information are also reduced.
The electronic patient record has become an important aspect in the information workflow, and using information technology has resulted in improving patient outcome quality and efficiency. Patient documentation is a vital skill in communicating the patient’s condition and organizing their care according to the patient’s needs.
The “Health Information Exchange” (HIE) is the electronic movement of health-related information, such as clinical and insurance data, between organizations according to nationally recognized standards. HIE can facilitate the electronic transmittal of data, allowing providers in different organizations to have access. An effective HIE ensures that the essential information of a patient’s history is available and updated at the point of care. This type of Health Information Exchange also helps facilitate the efforts of our physicians and clinicians to meet high standards of patient care through electronic participation in a patient’s continuity of care with multiple providers.
Regarding the Affordable Care Act (ACA), while it proposes to provide an easy way for individuals to access online applications from the privacy of home, many individuals still are not able to take advantage of the online option. Some individuals do not have the “hardware” that would enable them to apply from home, e.g. computers, printers or scanners; others are challenged by language barriers, low English proficiency, and disability, lack of an e-mail address or additional technology reasons that prevent them from comfortably being able to complete an online application without some level of assistance. To respond, Care Resource has developed a series of AFFORDABLE CARE ACT (ACA) workshops where case managers and health insurance consumers can learn more about the Health Insurance Marketplace, apply online and more.
With “Meaningful Use”, providers need to show they’re using certified Electronic Health Record (EHR) technology in ways that can be measured significantly in quality and in quantity. Meaningful Use establishes requirements for the electronic capture of clinical data, including providing patients with electronic copies of health information. It also supports the aims and priorities of the National Quality Strategy.
The privacy and security of Care Resource’s patients are imperative. To help ensure this, important Modifications to the HIPAA Privacy & Security Rules were developed to guide the implementation and enforcement, improve patient privacy and security protections by extending the Office for Civil Rights’ (OCR) enforcement to business associates and covered entities, strengthening individuals’ rights to request and receive their medical information in electronic form, and setting new limits on the use and sale of individuals’ information. These efforts, together with the ongoing Privacy and Security initiatives by The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), will work to ensure that electronic health exchange is private and secure.