AMA issues 12-step 'playbook' for digital health implementation

The nation’s largest provider group unveiled a new “playbook” on Wednesday designed to help physicians implement a variety of new digital tools.

The American Medical Association (AMA) released its Digital Health Implementation Playbook at the Connected Health Conference in Boston. The 12-step resource includes fundamental steps to digital health implementation along with more focused guidance for remote patient monitoring.

"Implementing digital health technology has been a challenge for those without a clear course to success," AMA Chair-elect Jesse Ehrenfeld, M.D., said in a statement. "The AMA is committed to making technology an asset, not a burden, and the Playbook provides the medical community with widespread access to a proven path for implementing digitally enabled health and care.”

Among the basic steps highlighted in the playbook are identifying a need for digital health tools, selecting the right vendors and negotiating contracts. For remote monitoring specifically, AMA’s playbook focuses on designing workflow, partnering with patients and evaluating the technology’s impact.

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AMA said the resource will be a “living document” that will feature new content over time.

The association has been ramping up its focus on digital health and technology over the last several years, launching its own “innovation enterprise” Health2047 backed by more than $40 million in funding. The AMA has also added new remote monitoring codes to its Current Procedural Terminology, which health IT companies have urged CMS to adopt.

A 2016 survey showed physicians are enthusiastic about the potential for digital health tools, particularly around optimizing workflow and efficiencies.