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The use of health information technology (IT) by health systems in ambulatory care can be an essential driver of care quality.
FREMONT, CA: Advancing the adoption and use of health information technology (IT) has been a key focus of improving the quality of care during the past decade. Coordinating chronic disease care, which is often fragmented, demands new systems to handle providers' information and enhance communication with patients. Read on to know more.
Patient-facing functionalities like patient portals and patient health records are about likely to be adopted more than physician-based functions like clinical data repositories and clinician charting. Patient health data and patient portals are considered vital elements of health IT that can improve patient-centered care through improved engagement and patient experience. Because ambulatory care providers are often the principal source of care for most patients, the use of these functionalities in such settings is important. Hence, their lower adoption rate is of concern. Health IT and health data exchange is a vital tool for improving the coordination of care and efficiency.
As health IT is becoming a vital component of care delivery, the gaps in adoption may translate into differences in quality. The analysis results indicate that clinic and system characteristics are important predictors of ambulatory health IT adoption, particularly the number of clinics within a system and the number of physicians within a clinic. Because of the inclination to reduce short-term investment costs, for-profit health systems were much less likely to adopt ambulatory IT.
As the healthcare industry continues to evolve, the number of small systems may decrease, but they probably will continue to play vital roles in care delivery, highlighting the ongoing demand to develop strategies to support health IT adoption by ambulatory care facilities. Additionally, efforts to promote the adoption of healthcare It and patient-facing functions like patient portals are needed. With so many care specialties and settings available, it is worthwhile for ambulatory care providers to look into all the options, so they can excel in this exciting and changing field.