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eHealth

Objective

To foster the collaborative and innovative use of eHealth technologies through partnerships between public and private sectors, and to encourage communication and coordination among eHealth initiatives in Nebraska.


Description

Health information technology (Health IT), often referred to as eHealth, promises to improve individual patient care and public health while reducing costs and improving efficiencies. eHealth technologies include health information exchange, electronic medical records, electronic health records, personal health records, electronic prescribing, clinical decision support, computerized provider order entry, and telehealth.

Health Information Exchange is the electronic movement of health-related information among organizations according to nationally recognized standards. (NAHIT)

An Electronic Medical Record is an electronic record of health-related information on an individual that can be created, gathered, managed, and consulted by authorized clinicians and staff within one health care organization. (NAHIT)

An Electronic Health Record is an electronic record of health-related information on an individual that conforms to nationally recognized interoperability standards and that can be created, managed, and consulted by authorized clinicians and staff across more than one health care organization. (NAHIT)

A Personal Health Record is an electronic record of health-related information on an individual that conforms to nationally recognized interoperability standards and that can be drawn from multiple sources while being managed, shared, and controlled by the individual. (NAHIT)

Electronic Prescribing (eRx) is a type of computer technology whereby physicians use handheld or personal computer devices to review drug and formulary coverage and to transmit prescriptions to a printer or to a local pharmacy. (ONC Glossary of Selected Terms)

A Decision-Support System (DSS) consists of computer tools or applications to assist physicians in clinical decisions by providing evidence-based knowledge in the context of patient-specific data. (ONC Glossary of Selected Terms)

Computerized Provider Order Entry (CPOE) physician's orders for diagnostic and treatment services (such as medications, laboratory, and other tests) to be entered electronically instead of being recorded on order sheets or prescription pads. (ONC Glossary of Selected Terms)

Telehealth is the use of telecommunications and information technologies to provide healthcare services over distance and/or time, to include diagnosis, treatment, public health, consumer health information, and health professions education. (Minnesota e-Health Glossary of Selected Terms)


Benefits

Benefits of eHealth include:

Reducing medication errors. More than 2 million adverse drug events could be prevented through e-prescribing, saving 4.5 billion annually and 190,000 hospitalizations per year.

Reducing health care waste. Health IT adoption is estimated to save an average of $42 billion annually during a 15-year adoption period.

Facilitating medical research. Health IT can facilitate research on the effectiveness of new therapies and can accelerate the diffusion of health care knowledge.

Reducing variability in healthcare delivery and access. Disparities exist in access to care and quality of care. Telehealth can provide access to specialists in rural areas. Clinical decision support systems can improve quality of care by providing treatment reminders at the point of care. Adults in the U.S. receive only about 55 percent of recommended care for a variety of common conditions. Clinical decision support systems have been shown to increase adherence to recommended care guidelines.

Empowering consumer involvement in health management. Having access to medical histories as well as customized health education and guidance could increase consumer participation in their health maintenance and care.

Improving the identification and reporting of disease outbreaks and other public health threats. One study found that the use of a countywide electronic system for public health reporting led to a 29% increase in cases of shigellosis identified and a 2.5 day decrease in reporting time.


Current Action Items (2012-2014)

1. Support the development of statewide health information exchange through the State HIE Cooperative Agreement Program, including developing strategic and operational plans and overseeing implementation.

Refer to the Statewide Technology Plan for further information.