Supporting Nurse Practitioners as ‘Priority Primary Care Practitioners’

By Susan McBride, PhD, RN, professor at Texas Tech University Health Science Center School of Nursing

It’s important for nurses to understand the Medicare and Medicaid incentives to implement electronic health records (EMRs) and to move to their “meaningful use,” as well as the purpose of the Regional Extension Centers created to support nurse practitioners and other “priority primary care providers” in the implementation process.

Dr. Mari Tietze, John Delaney, and I are fortunate to be involved in two of the Regional Extension Centers in Texas. We believe that nursing professionals have many contributions to make in the evolving electronic highway in the U.S. We will blog later about our roles as nursing informaticists in the Regional Extension Center program.

What are ‘Regional Extension Centers’? Under the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) Health Information Technology Initiative to support getting providers to meaningful use on electronic health records, the ONC has established Regional Extension Centers. There are 60 Regional Extension Centers that will furnish assistance to providers in specific geographic services areas covering virtually all of the U.S. A total of $643 million is devoted to these centers.

The purpose of the Regional Extension Centers is to support priority primary care practitioners in priority settings to implement and use EMRs according to the meaningful use requirements outlined in our previous post (below is a screenshot illustrating one example of how an EMR might align with meaningful use requirements; click image to enlarge). The goal of the program is to provide federally subsidized outreach and support […]

2016-11-21T13:16:22+00:00 July 29th, 2010|digital health, Nursing|1 Comment

‘Meaningful Use’: What’s It All About, And Why Should Nurses Care?

By Susan McBride, PhD, RN, professor at Texas Tech University Health Science Center School of Nursing. McBride and fellow nurse informaticists Mari Tietze and John Delaney will be blogging here on the intersection of nursing and informatics in the coming days. 

Everyone knows by now that the Obama administration has made electronic health records (EHRs) a high priority and is providing financial incentives to health care providers (and yes, nurses are included in that group) to adopt them. But not everyone knows it’s not just about converting records from paper to digital—its much more than that.

On July 13, the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) for Health Information Technology (HIT) released the final rules establishing definitions for the “meaningful use” of EHRs. The final rule is 864 pages and contains critical information for nurses to understand about how electronic records will change our lives. 

(No one expects every nurse to read the entire document. That’s why we’re going to be blogging about some important aspects of the topic. In the meantime, click here for a good overview of meaningful use and electronic medical records, as well as links to more exhaustive information. And for a short, useful table breaking down the rule by health outcomes policy priorities such as “improving care coordination,” have a look at this PDF: Stage 1. Meaningful Use Objectives and Associated Measures Sorted by Core and Menu Set.)

Ongoing […]

2016-11-21T13:16:23+00:00 July 26th, 2010|digital health, Nursing|7 Comments

Online Social Networks for Chronic Illness – Time for Providers to Take Them Seriously

For many people, social networks are a place for idle chatter about what they made for dinner or sharing cute pictures of their pets. But for people living with chronic diseases or disabilities, they play a more vital role.

“It’s really literally saved my life, just to be able to connect with other people,” said Sean Fogerty, 50, who has multiple sclerosis, is recovering from brain cancer and spends an hour and a half each night talking with other patients online.

That’s from an article in the technology section of today’s NY Times, which draws upon a report from the Pew Internet and American Life Foundation about how people with chronic illnesses are finding connection, support, and information in online social networks like DiabetesConnect.

Chronic illness can be isolating for many reasons: you often can’t explain a condition’s relentlessness and complexity to those around you; at the same time, you may be homebound or to some degree limited in the types of activities you can engage in.

Providers should be aware of such online networks and the role they play for patients. Patients get useful information about self-care, and they feel less alone—though some who study online social networks do caution against any sites where the mood is focused entirely on the negative. Good feelings and bad (like good information and bad) can both be infectious on the Web, as we’ve learned during recent political debates.

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