ECRI, EHR Association put forth safety practices for behavioral health IT

ECRI’s Partnership for Well being IT Affected person Security is working with the HIMSS Digital Well being Document Affiliation to chart a number of the widespread challenges concerned in integrating behavioral well being programs with major care EHRs.

In a current white paper, Optimizing Well being IT for Protected Integration of Behavioral Well being and Main Care, the 2 teams define some suggestions to assist assist and enhance such IT integrations.

Among the many EHR challenges explored within the report, ECRI and EHRA deal with use of constant terminology requirements for documentation; incorporation and integration of screening instruments; segregation of behavioral well being data from different medical data (due, for example, to regulatory necessities or privateness concerns); and boundaries to info sharing between major care and behavioral well being suppliers.

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A joint ECRI-EHRA workgroup developed 5 suggestions – with sensible methods for reaching them – targeted throughout three areas: screening, documentation and knowledge sharing.

  • Guarantee integration and simple accessibility of validated and clinically accepted behavioral well being screening instruments within the EHR 
  • Allow choice assist triggers related to these screening instruments to hyperlink behavioral well being and first care 
  • Optimize scientific documentation for behavioral well being and first care integration
  • Allow simpler knowledge sharing throughout care settings, by way of affected person portals, safe messaging and HIEs 
  • Allow EHRs to phase affected person knowledge in line with organizational insurance policies, affected person requests and state and federal legal guidelines and rules

“Whereas expertise can’t resolve each concern, its growth and implementation has the potential to raised facilitate the combination of behavioral well being and first care,” mentioned workgroup co-chair Patricia Giuffrida, RN, senior affected person security and well being IT security analyst at ECRI, in a press release.

With maybe half of behavioral well being situations going undiagnosed, higher remedy for situations corresponding to despair, substance abuse dysfunction and nervousness relies on integration with major care, since that is sometimes the place sufferers current first.

As ECRI and EHRA observe, research have proven that when instruments for screening for behavioral well being points are embedded within the EHR, screening charges enhance – enabling earlier identification of sufferers with behavioral well being wants.

Particularly because the pandemic-era telehealth growth has broadened the attain of behavioral well being providers (simply because the pandemic and its quarantines have exacerbated behavioral well being challenges), these questions are extra necessary than ever.

Healthcare IT Information has printed a collection of case research in current months, describing how behavioral well being suppliers are managing the numerous challenges.

“The built-in well being care mannequin acknowledges that each medical and behavioral well being elements are necessary elements of an individual’s total well being,” mentioned David Bucciferro, vice chair of EHRA, in a press release. “Our workgroup’s focus was guaranteeing that every one clinicians have the data they should make knowledgeable choices within the remedy of the people they serve.

“Our suggestions determine the place builders can improve expertise within the close to time period – one to 3 years – to handle the bifurcation of well being info into major care and behavioral well being,” he added. “By creating expertise to permit for the real-time alternate and integration of information, we will make sure that clinicians of all disciplines have a whole image of their sufferers.”

“The uncertainties of COVID-19, restricted affected person and supplier assets, and the elevated use of telehealth visits throughout the present pandemic spotlight the urgency of integrating behavioral well being remedy with major care,” mentioned Dr. Marcus Schabacker, president and CEO of ECRI. “You will need to make sure that sufferers with behavioral well being wants don’t fall by means of the cracks.”

Twitter: @MikeMiliardHITN
Electronic mail the author: [email protected]

Healthcare IT Information is a HIMSS publication.

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