HIMSS resource to create a 'common vocabulary' for health IT

The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society today unveiled a resource aimed at helping providers and payers evaluate the impact of their technology decisions.

The tool--the HIMSS Health IT Value Suite--creates a "common vocabulary" that helps to provide common ground for health IT stakeholders. The "knowledge repository" categorizes documented examples of health IT into five categories it refers to as STEPS: satisfaction; treatment/clinical; electronic information/data; prevention and patient education; and savings.

"We've created the Health IT value suite because as health stakeholders are increasingly implementing and using technology solutions, we must understand how these investments are paying off for better patient care while controlling costs," HIMSS Executive Vice President Carla Smith said at a press announcement in Washington, D.C., this morning. "HIMSS Health IT Value Suite offers a taxonomy to have that discussion. It offers a framework to describe value and articulate it, and also provides findings from our robust library to help providers, policymakers and other stakeholders evaluate the impact of IT use in healthcare."

Bryan Sivak, Chief Technology Officer for the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, called the resource "very important" as technology use in healthcare continues to grow.

"[HIMSS] has taken, really what we've been working on as an administration for the past few years--which is specifically leveraging health IT and leveraging the power of data and liberating data from the healthcare ecosystem--and [they are] documenting the actual use cases and results," Sivak said. Technology, he added, "is fundamentally changing the way we purchase healthcare, the way we interact with healthcare and the way that we experience healthcare, both as consumers and as actors in the ecosystem."

The resource, according to a HIMSS announcement, will help providers to answer questions pertaining to:

  • How physicians at medical practices have used IT to improve patient care;
  • How health IT can benefit patient experience during care encounters;
  • How providers are using IT to simultaneously reduce costs and boost quality and safety efforts.

To learn more:
- here's the announcement
- learn more about the resource