DC Primary Care Association – Improving Access and Quality using health information technology

Eytan-Ehr-Advisory Group

Presentation: Patient Centered Health Information Technology, Ted Eytan, MD

As I mentioned previously, Josh and I are hoping to add sites local to the DC/Maryland/Virginia area to the PCHIT initiative. I visited Baltimore Medical System this week. I have also reached out to the District of Columbia Primary Care Association (DCPCA Blog: Click here).

I first heard of DCPCA’s work well in advance of the initiative starting, through articles in iHealthBeat that discussed a new city-wide EHR network. As I have learned more about the project (DCPCA is connected to New York’s PCIP as well) and Medical Homes DC which it falls under, I have found that it is very “real.” So real, in fact, that I was invited (and graciously accepted the invitation) to sit in with providers as they trained on the new system. It has gone live for practice management in the first medical center, and will go live for clinicals in early January.

I presented the attached presentation to the Early Adopter EHR Advisory Group, informing implementation at the first 6 sites. The group welcomed a discussion of patient empowerment features of an EHR and we discussed the capabilities of the system being installed, eClinicalWorks, which are present and include a patient portal as well as after visit summary features. All exciting to hear about.

An issue we spent some time on was regarding digital disparties. I presented information from the medical literature and some of my own experiences, which show that maybe there are disparities of perception of what patients have access to. Here is a link to the cloud of studies Josh and I have reviewed on the topic to date:

PCHIT’s links to studies on digital disparities

As we have learned that bypass procedures should be equally effective for all members of a community, similar data is emerging that may lead us to the same conclusion for personal health records – that every health system can empower its patients using them. This could provide fuel for safety-net organizations to think about innovating in this realm as they innovate with EHRs.

Like Balitmore Medical System, DCPCA-supported medical centers are not yet officially part of the initiative. I hope to spend more time with them and eventually encourage sharing of their experiences, and maybe even invite an innovative clinician or two to blog with me here. What I am seeing so far is a very strong effort with the potential to be a model for many other health systems in the nation in HIT innovation.

With great thanks to DCPCA and EHR early adopters for entertaining this conversation and all that they are doing to move into the future for their patients and their community. It is very impressive work.

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