Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Critical Actions for HIE

By Mark Brousseau

There are five critical actions that healthcare organizations need to take to ensure the success of their information sharing initiatives, Jamie Welch, CIO, Louisiana Rural Health Information Exchange (LARHX) told attendees this morning at HIMSS10 at the Georgia World Congress, in Atlanta.

LARHX’s information sharing initiative includes telemedicine, distance learning, physician learning, physician rotation, patient information sharing, electronic medical records, and mobile mammograms.

These are the five critical actions Welch outlined:

Work at the grassroots level to articulate your business case.
“If you start to boil the ocean before you boil the pond, it’s not going to work,” Welch said. “We know the lingo and we know the vendors – it’s what we do. For the general public, it’s not. The majority of what they hear about health IT is about a Congress that can’t decide if it’s good or bad, and about information breaches.”

“From Day 1, we made sure that everyone understood what the benefits of our project would be over time. We had to convince people that if you let us do this, then these would be the benefits you will see,” Welch said. “Once we got people to see this, then a lot of our challenges solved themselves.”

Link your objectives to measurable outcomes
“You need to present something that is tangible. Everybody likes the cold, hard data, not theoretical information,” Welch said. “We keep track of everything: money saved, days saved, travel time saved, waiting room time saved, duplicate tests saved – you name it.”

Define the governance strategy that works best for your participants
“One model isn’t going to work for everybody,” Welch said.

Mix and match best practices
“We all know what the best practices are. But we can’t all pattern ourselves after each other, because each part of the country is different, and each patient population is different,” Welch said. “Take the best of all worlds and make it work for you.”

Remember that this is not an IT project – it’s a patient project
“Keep patients and physicians involved, and remember it is all about the patient and the physician and better health outcomes,” Welch said. “The health IT element is frosting.”

What do you think?


College Term Papers said...

Wonderful article, very well explained.

Crysta Anderson said...

Great summary of Jamie's HIMSS presentation! For more detail, read her recent blog post on the same topic: