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'Meaningful Connections' Offers Guidance, Case Examples for use of Electronic Health IT to Support Patient Centered Medical Home

New white paper released today at Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative's Stakeholder's Meeting in Washington, DC

WASHINGTON, April 28 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As health care leaders explore how best to draw upon billions in new federal dollars for health information technology, the Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative (PCPCC) released a white paper identifying the capabilities and functionalities of eHealth applications that experts consider crucial to support the patient centered medical home (PCMH). Meaningful Connections: A resource guide for using health IT to support the patient centered medical home was released today at the PCPCC's Stakeholder's Working Meeting in Washington, DC.

The PCPCC is a coalition of more than 400 organizations representing the nation's business leaders, consumer groups, primary care physicians and other health care stakeholders. The PCPCC's work is moved forward through four "Centers" which produce work products designed to advance understanding and adoption of the PCMH. Meaningful Connections is the result of efforts by the Center for eHealth Information Adoption and Exchange (CeHIA). It was produced by Health2 Resources and funded through a grant by Merck.

"While health IT is widely considered a valuable tool to enable the PCMH, it is only one component of what must be a larger transformation in health care delivery," said Edwina Rogers, executive director of the PCPCC. "This Resource Guide offers provider practices and other stakeholders a useful cross-walk between health IT capabilities and functionalities that recognize the central role of the primary care provider in overseeing continuous and coordinated care."

Meaningful Connections is a guidance document to steer the development and implementation of health IT in a direction that supports the overarching principles of the PCMH. It does not point to specific products, applications or vendors; rather, it speaks in global terms about the capabilities and functionalities needed to build an information platform that will support the key elements of the PCMH and to enable the improvements in quality, safety, effectiveness and access that PCMH is designed to deliver. The document identifies five specific capabilities that map directly to the needs of the "connected" PCMH model:

  • Ability to collect, store, manage and exchange relevant personal health information;
  • Ability of providers, patients, and other members of a person's health team to communicate among themselves and in the process of care delivery;
  • Ability to collect, store, measure and report on the processes and outcomes of individual and population performance and quality of care;
  • Ability of providers and their practices to engage in decision support for evidence-based treatments and tests; and
  • Ability of consumers and patients to be informed, literate about their health and medical conditions and appropriately self-manage with monitoring and coaching from providers.

To position the content of the resource guide within the current environment, the CeHIA fielded a survey of members of the PCPCC, key partners and primary care physician groups that explored experiences of those using health IT in the field. A representative sample of those survey responses is included in the resource guide, offering "boots on the ground" experience and case studies for readers to consider. The document also includes a discussion of the value of engaging the patient as an active participant in care using health IT, and consumer principles to guide this activity.

Meaningful Connections is available as a free download at the PCPCC Web site at http://www.pcpcc.net/content/meaningful-connections-it-resource-guide. Frequently Asked Questions about the resource guide are also available.

The PCPCC is organized and financed to provide better outcomes for patients, more efficient payment to physicians and better value, accountability and transparency to purchasers and consumers. Studies of the PCMH model show that it improves patient satisfaction and clinical outcomes. It also lowers health care costs by improving care coordination and communication between primary care physicians and their patients.

About the Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative

The Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative is a coalition of more than 400 major employers, consumer groups, organizations representing primary care physicians, and other stakeholders who have joined to advance the patient centered "medical home." The Collaborative believes that, if implemented, the patient centered medical home will improve the health of patients and the health care delivery system. For more information on the patient centered medical home and a complete list of the PCPCC members, please visit http://www.pcpcc.net/.

SOURCE The Patient Centered Primary Care Collaborative

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