On June 24, a special session of the Annual Research Meeting sponsored by the John A. Hartford Foundation, “Leading Edge Innovations: HIT and the Reduction of Avoidable Harm in Revolving Door Patients,” highlighted diverse efforts to improve care and reduce costs for older Americans. Session chair Amy Berman, Senior Program Officer at the John A. Hartford Foundation, lamented that for America’s elderly population, we are facing the “inverse triple aim” of poor care, poor quality, and high costs. As part of the foundation’s mission to improve the health and health care for older adults, they embrace and promote health information technology (HIT) as a critical tool to drive the delivery of safe, high-quality care.  Next, Janhavi Kirtane of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) provided context on how the ONC and John A. Hartford Foundation have worked together to support national and regional HIT-enabled quality improvement initiatives. She pointed to efforts such as the work of several of the Beacon Communities around long-term post-acute care (LTPAC); a jointly hosted meeting in 2011 called “Putting the IT in Care TransITions,” and a recent request for information from ONC and CMS to identify strategies to advance interoperability and spur EHR and HIE adoption among LTPAC providers.  David Dorr’s presentation gave the audience a glimpse of how the Care Management Plus (CM+) paradigm can effectively integrate with and support a redesigned model of care.  Developed at Intermountain Healthcare with the support of the John A. Hartford Foundation, CM+ provides flexible HIT tools to help care managers create care plans for elderly patients with chronic illnesses. CM+ is beginning to yield improvements in diabetes and depression-related outcomes and mortality rates; reduced hospitalizations; and improved experience for patients, care managers, and providers. Gary Christensen described the three broad HIT focus areas of the Rhode Island Quality Institute (RIQI). CurrentCare, the statewide HIE, allows providers to “subscribe” to receive all alerts for selected patients. RIQI acts as the Regional Extension Center, assisting local providers in adopting EHRs and achieving Meaningful Use. Lastly, as a Beacon Community Program grantee, RIQI focused on enabling value-based payment through data analytics and quality reporting. .  Last up was Larry Garber of Reliant Health who discussed the Improving Massachusetts Post-Acute Care Transitions (IMPACT) challenge grant, which aims to identify and test a set of data elements that LTPAC providers would like to receive about patients transferred to their care. Since most LTPAC facilities and nursing homes haven’t adopted EHRs, the grantees introduced the Local Application for Network Distribution (LAND), a courier to route the dataset to the destination; and Surrogate EHR Environment (SEE), a Web-based application where non-EHR users can enter and route the IMPACT dataset. Pilot testing of the IMPACT dataset is set to begin in July, with evaluations assessing its impact on 30-day readmission rates, ER visit rates, hospital admission rates from ER, and total resource utilization. As Berman emphasized, HIT in and of itself is not an end; “it’s setting the table for the meal that can come.” The panelists and other initiatives demonstrate the potential to leverage HIT to enable the end goals of improved cost, quality and care for America’s seniors.  

Blog comments are restricted to AcademyHealth members only. To add comments, please sign-in.