NURS 5051/6051 Week 9: HIT Policy

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NURS 5051/6051: Transforming Nursing and Healthcare Through Information Technology | Week 9

Legislative efforts in health care often build on one another. The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH) of 2009 is a prime example of how one piece of legislation further clarifies a previous one. HITECH enhances many of the security and privacy provisions of the 1996 Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). However, privacy and security are not the only concerns of health information technology policy. HITECH incentivizes the adoption of electronic health record systems and outlines standards for meaningful use. Though laws like HITECH and HIPAA are on the books, to what extent do they actually impact the quality of patient care?

This week you focus on the impact of the HITECH legislation and consider how the incentives and meaningful use criteria impact health care.

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Learning Objectives

Students will:

  • Evaluate the impact of the HITECH legislation on improving the quality of patient care
  • Analyze how incentives influence the use of health information technology

In order for organizations to receive the incentives offered through the HITECH legislation, they must be able to demonstrate that they are using the technology in meaningful ways. The following criteria for meaningful use must be evident to qualify for EHR incentives (U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, 2012). The technology must:

  • Improve quality, safety, and efficiency, and reduce health disparities
  • Engage patients and families
  • Improve care coordination
  • Improve population and public health
  • Ensure adequate privacy and security protections for personal health information

For this Discussion you consider the impact of the meaningful use criteria of the HITECH legislation on the adoption of health information technology.

To prepare:

  • Review the Learning Resources on the HITECH legislation and its primary goals.
  • Reflect on the positive and negative impact this legislation has had on your organization or one with which you are familiar.
  • Consider the incentives to encourage the use of EHRs. Focus on the definition of meaningful use and how it is measured.
  • Reflect on how the incentives and meaningful use impact the quality of patient care.
  • Find an article in the Walden Library dealing with one of the criteria to qualify for meaningful use and how it has been successfully met.
By Day 3

Post a description of how HITECH legislation has positively or negatively impacted your organization. Address how its related incentives influence the adoption of health information technology in health care and impact the quality of patient care. Provide a summary of the article you identified and explain how it demonstrates the ability of health information technology to meet the requirements of meaningful use.

Read a selection of your colleagues’ responses.

By Day 6

Respond to at least two of your colleagues on two different days using one or more of the following approaches:

  • Ask a probing question, substantiated with additional background information, evidence or research.
  • Share an insight from having read your colleagues’ postings, synthesizing the information to provide new perspectives.
  • Offer and support an alternative perspective using readings from the classroom or from your own research in the Walden Library.
  • Validate an idea with your own experience and additional research.
  • Make a suggestion based on additional evidence drawn from readings or after synthesizing multiple postings.
  • Expand on your colleagues’ postings by providing additional insights or contrasting perspectives based on readings and evidence.