The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology Health IT Playbook

Specialists

Specialty care has unique needs for EHR clinical documentation and care coordination with other specialties, subspecialties, primary care and care settings. Historically, very few specialists have adopted an EHR. In recent years, many EHR vendors have developed specialty templates or modules optimized for specific specialties. EHR solutions for individual specialties (e.g. ophthalmology, dermatology) or multi-specialty groups are also evolving and gaining adoption in certain specialties.

This section of the Playbook provides EHR, health information exchange, and workflow tools and guidance for specialists. Currently, this section provides access to federally funded efforts to compile case studies and best practices.

Check back for additional specialties and resources. Have a specialty-specific health IT tool or resource that should be considered for the Playbook? Please follow the feedback link below to contact us.

Summary: Resources for ambulatory behavioral health providers and providers who provide, manage, or coordinate care for individuals at risk of, or suffering from, mental, behavioral, or addictive disorders and behaviors.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) data estimates there are 43.6 million adults aged 18 or older with prevalence of any mental illness in 2014. This number represents nearly one in five Americans.

Adoption of health IT in behavioral health care is significantly lower than other specialties or care settings due to unique needs, limited resources or expertise, and ineligibility of many to participate in EHR incentive programs. As primary care is often the gateway for individuals to address their behavioral health needs, many primary care providers are integrating and offering behavioral health care services.

The exchange presents unique challenges due to confidentiality rules for exchange of sensitive health information. Behavioral health information such as psychotherapy notes, substance abuse treatment records, and psychiatric diagnoses are legally considered sensitive health information. In addition to regulations at the federal level, individual states may have their own laws for disclosure or exchange of sensitive information.

EHRs and health information exchange solutions are evolving in their ability to best capture and segment sensitive health information to facilitate use of health IT to better manage and coordinate care.

ONC works in partnership with a number of federal stakeholders to collaborate and coordinate resources to support behavioral health IT. ONC partners with SAMHSA to promote the development, dissemination, and effective use of health IT to support prevention, treatment, and recovery in the behavioral health community. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) created the Academy for Integrating Behavioral Health and Primary Care resources to support behavioral health integration, including health IT resources. This section provides access to resources developed by ONC’s federal partners to support adoption of health IT and care coordination in behavioral health.

Have a behavioral health IT tool or resource that should be considered for the Playbook? Please follow the feedback link below to contact us.

A Guidebook of Professional Practices for Behavioral Health and Primary Care Integration: Observations from Exemplary Sites

A Guidebook of Professional Practices for Behavioral Health and Primary Care Integration: Observations from Exemplary Sites

Overview
This guidebook was developed to assist the field of primary care and behavioral health in identifying professional practices for developing integrated care. Eight high-performing primary care organizations with integrated behavioral health and primary care participated in the study

Who it’s for
Primary care and behavioral health practices

When it’s used
To learn about integrating primary care organizations with behavioral health

Download A Guidebook of Professional Practices for Behavioral Health and Primary Care Integration: Observations from Exemplary Sites [PDF - 1.2 MB]

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Behavioral Health Integration Academy

Overview
Web portal of resources to advance the integration of behavioral health and primary care and a collaborative environment for sharing experiences

Who it’s for
Behavioral Health and Primary Care providers

When it’s used
When seeking resources on behavioral health and primary care integration

Visit the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Behavioral Health Integration Academy site

Case Studies of HIT for Behavioral Health Integration

Overview
Real-world examples of health systems and group practices that have adopted HIT tools for integrative purposes

Who it’s for
Behavioral Health and Primary Care providers

When it’s used
When seeking examples of application of Health IT for behavioral health and primary care integration

Visit the Case Studies of HIT for Behavioral Health Integration site

Summary: Resources for ambulatory providers who provide, manage, or coordinate care for infants, children, or adolescents.

The needs of pediatricians for both primary care and pediatric subspecialists present unique functionality, documentation, and privacy considerations for implementation and use of health IT. This section provides key resource to support pediatricians in implementing or optimization their EHRs and participating in health information exchange.

Although pediatricians provide a significant amount of primary care, unique or critical documentation needs for pediatric practices includes functionality such as growth charts, weight/age-based dosing, clear indication of smaller units of measure, pediatric “normal” ranges for vitals, labs, and other measurements, mother-baby documentation, gestational age, among many more. Pediatrics practices deal with a specific set of privacy requirements in support of parental involvement for adolescents, consent, or custodial, foster, guardian, or adoptive care.

Have a pediatric health IT tool or resource that should be considered for the Playbook? Please follow the feedback link below to contact us.

Children’s Electronic Health Record Format

Overview
Information for EHR system developers and others about critical functionality, data elements, and other requirements needed for pediatric EHR systems especially those enrolled (CHIP)

Who it’s for
Pediatricians and EHR Vendors

When it’s used
When seeking guidance on data elements and standards to capture EHR components most relevant for children

Visit the Children’s Electronic Health Record Format site

Other Specialties Coming Soon!

Content under development - We envision this section to contain helpful resources geared towards the particular challenges faced by specialists when configuring health IT systems to meet their particular practice needs. This section currently contains material to support pediatrics and behavioral health clinicians in showcasing the design functionality and demonstrate possibilities for future expansion to other specialties.

We invite your specialty organization to submit feedback, suggestions and ideas so that we can continue to build the health IT playbook into a truly useful resource for all medical specialties. Please follow the feedback link below to contact us.

Join the conversation.

Let us know how we can improve and expand on Specialists.