New AHRQ handbook helps practices implement interactive preventive health records
Research Activities, September 2012, No. 385
A new handbook from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) offers practical guidance on the implementation of interactive preventive health records (IPHRs). Based on the lessons learned from implementation of electronic health records (EHRs) from 3 different vendors at 14 different practices, the handbook provides practical steps for health care professionals to follow when integrating IPHRs as components of electronic health records. The IPHR was developed and studied in three AHRQ-funded projects to better understand how to broadly implement and disseminate patient-centered information systems throughout primary care. These three projects build upon one another to show the development and effect of the IPHR tool on patient outcomes, the ability for it to be successfully adopted into multiple and varied EHRs and health care settings, and its integration into the primary care workflow for an entire practice's patient population.
One AHRQ-supported study, published in the Annals of Family Medicine, found that IPHR users were more likely to be up-to-date on all preventive services compared with nonusers, especially in the areas of screening tests and immunizations. It also showed that an IPHR and similar systems can improve important patient outcomes, such as the delivery of evidence-based preventive care. The study authors recommended that more attention be paid to ensure future personal health records can deliver higher levels of functionality, similar to the IPHR, and that a greater number of patients and clinicians actively use the systems.
Visit http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22778119 for the Annals of Family Medicine abstract.
For more information on AHRQ's IPHR projects, view the PDF of Personal Health Information Management and the Design of Consumer Health Information Technology: Background Report.