Towards Effective and Efficient Adoption of Health Information Technology in Home Health Care (Maryland)

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Summary:

Successful and effective adoption of health information technology (IT) by home health agencies (HHAs) is a critical for improving quality of care and reducing costs. Health IT adoption at HHAs is limited for various reasons including ineligibility to receive Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Meaningful Use incentives through the Electronic Health Record Incentive program. Therefore, the purpose of this project was to identify contextual determinants of health IT adoption and strategies to effectively and efficiently leverage IT at HHAs.

The specific aims of this project were as follows:

  • Assess the challenges experienced by HHAs in delivering home care, including the privacy and security challenges, and the opportunities to improve quality of care and health outcomes, to reduce costs, and to improve access. 
  • Assess the current health IT adoption activities and investigate the issues that can be addressed for successful and more efficient health IT adoption. 
  • Iteratively refine, organize, and report the evidence about health IT adoption in HHAs and make recommendations about key solutions and strategies that can be implemented by HHAs as well as other parties such as vendors and government agencies.

Interviews with health care professionals at HHAs identified the following strategies for effective use of health IT: (1) coordination of clinical and administrative workflows, (2) improved health information exchange capabilities, and (3) training of clinicians and caregivers to improve IT literacy. To support efficiency, clinicians at HHAs reported the need to define and follow organizational processes for adoption and use of health IT. Although the complexity of IT is a challenge, clinicians’ attitudes and beliefs were generally positive.

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Towards Effective and Efficient Adoption of Health Information Technology in Home Health Care - Final Report

Citation:
Koru, G. Towards Effective and Efficient Adoption of Health Information Technology in Home Health Care - Final Report. (Prepared by the University of Maryland under Grant No. R03 HS022352). Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, 2014. (PDF, 309.54 KB)

The findings and conclusions in this document are those of the author(s), who are responsible for its content, and do not necessarily represent the views of AHRQ. No statement in this report should be construed as an official position of AHRQ or of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
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