Guide issued for tying primary care to regional organizations

June 24, 2013
Guide issued for tying primary care to regional organizations
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality has developed a new guide to help primary care practices to assess readiness for connecting electronic health records to regional health information organizations.

(HealthDay)—The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality has developed a new guide to help primary care practices to assess readiness for connecting electronic health records (EHRs) to regional health information organizations (RHIOs).

Dewey Scheid, M.D., M.P.H., from the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center in Oklahoma City, and colleagues developed the guide to connect primary care to local (HIE) hubs and RHIOs via EHRs.

According to the authors, HIE hubs mobilize health care information electronically across health care organizations. HIE systems can increase the participation of multiple providers in a patients' continuity of care and allow providers to save time, effort, and money. The guidelines address all aspects of connecting an EHR to a RHIO, including assessing readiness, setting up appropriate technology, and sustaining use of an HIE. The guide is relevant to different audiences, including practice leaders, information technology staff, and practice personnel.

"The lack of a convincing value proposition for providers has been a major barrier to use of RHIOs," the authors write. "Although there appears to be a net societal potential benefit of investing in sharing information between different , the return on investment for individual medical practices is less certain. Apart from capital expenses and fees, must adapt their workflow so they can benefit from the RHIO technology."

Explore further: EHR implementation first step toward quality improvement

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