Optimal Health Information Sharing Across Communities of Care



The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) recently published a 10-year vision paper inviting health IT stakeholders to join ONC in developing a defined, shared roadmap to achieve health IT interoperability. The report states, “The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has a critical responsibility to advance the connectivity of electronic health information and interoperability of health information technology (health IT).” Furthermore, the ability to seamlessly share information from one setting to another is of great importance to patients, nurses and thus to nurse informaticists, experts in the “specialty that integrates nursing science, computer science, and information science to manage and communicate data, information, knowledge, and wisdom in nursing practice.”  Two facets have been identified to achieve optimal information sharing.

First, complete, valid, and up-to-date patient information is required for care providers to administer optimal care to patients, decrease costly errors, and promote care coordination across different health care settings.

Second, the design of systems must support the capture and transmission of all documented data. Then, the aggregate data can be used to inform future patient care, demonstrate the impact of nursing care on patient outcomes and provide data-based support for population health management.

Currently, our nation is experiencing an increase in the number and proportion of older adults in the U.S. population; many of whom are diagnosed with multiple chronic conditions and require complex and coordinated care. “Without maximally available and complete patient data, we will lose the opportunity to provide the best possible, most effective and efficient coordinated care for these patients as they transition from one setting to another or one provider to another.” Hence, nurse informaticists are needed to provide leadership and promote solutions for information management and care coordination.

Access the HIMSS article: http://www.himss.org/News/NewsDetail.aspx?ItemNumber=30781&navItemNumber=17425