Standardized electronic info remains a challenge: experts

Denise Rabidoux
Denise Rabidoux

An emphasis on data assessment and standardization across care settings was a hot topic at the Long Term and Post Acute Care Health IT Summit, held in late June in Baltimore.

Clinical leadership often operates in silos, noted Kelly Cronin, director of the Office of Care Transformation, Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology. Care plan functioning should allow for task tracking, and data should be dynamically updated multi-directionally in real time, as well as become aligned, she said. 

“The challenge in LTPAC is to think about partnerships,” Cronin said. “We need your involvement to get this right.”

Multiple care providers need to be able to see electronic medical information.

“We really want to make sure it's not just doctors and hospitals exchanging data, but the whole care continuum,” she said. 

CMS is working on a data element library with assessment data elements and linked HIT standards, which is expected to be available later this year, according to experts discussing the Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation Act during a morning session.

Having the data element library linked directly to quality measurements is meaningful, noted National Association for the Support of Long Term Care Executive Vice President Cynthia Morton.

“CMS connected the dots for us,” she told McKnight's. “It's one thing to have data. It's another thing to have that standard.”

Presentations included a case study from Evangelical Homes of Michigan, which created a program called LifeChoices three years ago. The customer pays an entrance fee of $40,000 plus a monthly fee of around $400 a month, CEO Denise Rabidoux said. A navigator is assigned, with a care team working to keep the independent adult at home.