Use of health information technology (IT) is central to the success of integrated behavioral health and primary care. Availability of secure and private electronic health records to all those who need it when they need it can improve on the quality and cost of care. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) offers the HealthIT Portfolio, which produces and shares information and evidence-based tools “about the impact of health IT on health care quality.” To do so, it predicts future needs of the health care system and supports the development of health IT solutions; finds and fills present gaps in knowledge about health IT; and “leverages the capability of health IT to improve the quality, safety, efficiency and effectiveness of health care.” AHRQ has already encouraged more than 150 communities, hospitals, providers, and health care systems in 48 states to adopt and promote access to health IT. On the AHRQ HealthIT website is information about AHRQ-funded projects, tools and resources, relevant events, key topic areas, funding opportunities, and ways to stay informed. The site also features a video and a related report on how health IT enhances care coordination, particularly with regard to communication among providers, a key feature of Integration. A recent webinar discusses how to successfully implement health IT while ongoing changes occur in the way people and organizations work. Visit the AHRQ Health IT Portfolio today to access these resources and learn how health IT can advance integration and produce better health outcomes.
AHRQ Health IT Portfolio: http://healthit.ahrq.gov/