Integrating health IT tools will promote preventive care

Combining different health information technologies will increase the number of patients who receive preventive care, according to a new American Medical News article.

Tools that combine different aspects of health IT will work better than stand-alone single tools, according to the article. Some of the tools would be sold directly to consumers; others could work as add-ons to a physician's electronic health record system or patient portal, or could be offered as a benefit by health insurers. Several promising new innovations outlined by amednews included:

  • Interactive preventive health records (IPHRs), created by combining EHRs with personalized health records which would create customized alerts sent to both patients and their physicians. One pilot study found that 25.1 percent of patients that had access to an IPHR were up-to-date on all preventive services, double the rate of non-users.
  • Mobile technologies combining personal health records with personal devices to send reminders to patients.
  • Patient-specific decision support and communication tools, using information generated from the EHRs to send personalized messages to patients, perhaps through personal health records.

Improved preventive care is a primary goal of healthcare payment and coordination of care initiatives, such as patient centered medical homes and accountable care organizations. It is also a cornerstone of health reform.

To learn more:
- read the American Medical News article
- here's the study abstract
- check out the AHRQ guide