Health Information Technology Resources

The following resources were compiled to help Region VIII Community Health Centers stay informed about the new and changing world of Health Information Technology (HIT). Please contact the CHAMPS Clinical Quality Improvement Director if you have any questions about these materials or would like to share other useful resources you have found.

Note: Visit the CHAMPS Meaningful Use Information and Resources webpage for an overview of Meaningful Use and links to additional resources providing in-depth details about the MU initiative.

Please click or scroll down for:
HHS Resources
Region VIII Efforts
Other HIT Resources

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES (HHS)

HHS Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)
Digital Healthcare Research
AHRQ’s National Resource Center for Health Information Technology, including press releases, grant and contract opportunities, and lessons learned.

HHS Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Bureau of Primary Health Care (BPHC)
Health Center Controlled Networks (HCCNs) Webpage
HCCNs are HRSA-funded entities that provide specialized training and technical assistance to take advantage of economies of scale in order to support health centers improve quality of care and patient safety by using health information technology to cut costs and improve care coordination. Region VIII HCCNs are indicated in the Region VIII Efforts section below.

HHS Health Information Technology (HIT)

Dashboard
Health IT Dashboard with facts about ONC programs and health IT initiatives, illustrating the impact of HITECH programs including Regional Extension Centers, Health IT Workforce Training, Meaningful Use, and more.

Health Information Exchange (HIE)
A comprehensive set of resources about Health Information Exchange (HIE) and how it relates to Meaningful Use.

Health IT Playbook
Courses and resources to help health care providers and office staff use and optimize health IT tools.

Homepage
Federal health IT initiatives, office activities, frequently asked questions, tools, programs, reports, links, etc.

Your Mobile Device and Health Information Privacy and Security
Education initiative and set of online tools provide practical tips on ways to secure patients’ protected health information when using mobile devices such as laptops, tablets, and smartphones.

SAFER (Safety Assurance Factors for EHR Resilience) Guides
Consists of nine guides organized into three categories to enable health care organizations to address EHR safety in a variety of areas.

HHS National Health Information Infrastructure (NHII)
Homepage
An initiative to improve the effectiveness, efficiency, and overall quality of health and health care in the U.S. through a network of interoperable systems of clinical, public health, and personal health information that would improve decision-making by making health information available when and where it is needed with a focus on the set of technologies, standards, applications, systems, values, and laws that support all facets of individual health, health care, and public health.

HHS National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHHD)
Homepage
Includes 12 original research papers and five editorials and commentaries. The research manuscripts report that health information technologies (e.g., electronic health records, personal health records, e-prescribing, mobile technologies) may help underserved populations by enhancing patient engagement, improving implementation of clinical guidelines, promoting patient safety, and reducing adverse outcomes.

Voluntary Cybersecurity Practices for the Health Industry
Aligning Health Care Industry Security Approaches
Resources created in response to a mandate set by the Cybersecurity Act of 2015 Section 405(d) to create practical cybersecurity guidelines to cost-effectively reduce cybersecurity risks for the healthcare industry.

Health Industry Cybersecurity Practices (HICP): Managing Threats and Protecting Patients
Publication developed to raise awareness for executives, health care practitioners, providers, and health delivery organizations, such as hospitals and is applicable to health organizations of all types and sizes across the industry. 

To request a copy of the Toolkit, email HHS at CISA405d@hhs.gov.

REGION VIII EFFORTS

Colorado Community Managed Care Network (CCMCN)
Homepage
CCMCN is a Health Center Controlled Network (HCCN) comprised of 20 health centers with over 190 clinic sites (including school-based clinics, pharmacies, and mobile units). Areas of focus include managed and accountable care, health information technology, and clinical quality improvement programming.

Great Plains Health Data Network (GPHDN)
Homepage
The Community HealthCare Association of the Dakotas (CHAD), in partnership with the Wyoming Primary Care Association (WYPCA), forms the Great Plains Health Data Network (GPHDN). The GPHDN is a collaboration that will harness the strength of the Health Center Controlled Networks (HCCN) program to support the technical capacity of 11 health centers and 70 sites, collectively serving over 111,000 total patients in underserved and low-income urban and rural areas across North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming.

Montana Primary Care Association (MPCA) Health Center Controlled Network (HCCN) – Technology Innovations
Homepage
Through a Health Center Controlled Network (HCCN) grant from the Bureau of Primary Care, MPCA is working with its members to develop and implement an aggregation and analytics system to drive quality improvement across the health center organizations in Montana. MPCA is facilitating discussions across the network focusing on the establishment of data governance policies and procedures, technology investment, and sharing of best practices.

North Dakota Health Information Network (NDHIN)
Homepage
NDHIN was created out of the North Dakota Department of Information Technology as a statewide interoperable health information infrastructure consistent with emerging national standards. NDHIN’s mission is to advance the adoption and use of technology to exchange health information and improve healthcare quality, patient safety, and overall efficiency of healthcare and public health services of North Dakota.

South Dakota HealthLink
Homepage
South Dakota HealthLink is provided by the South Dakota Department of Health to connect hospitals, federally qualified health centers, primary care providers, specialists, labs, and pharmacies as well as public health and other state agencies, allowing secure consultations and the sharing of test results with other providers for better patient outcomes.

Utah Health Information Network (UHIN)
Homepage
An electronic commerce coalition of health care insurers, providers, and other interested parties, including State government with the common goal of reducing health care administrative costs through data standardization of administrative health data and electronic commerce (EC).

UTECH
Technical Assistance
UTech is the Health Center Controlled Network (HCCN) for Utah, and a program of Association for Utah Community Health (AUCH). UTech is positioned to help participating health centers improve quality of care and patient safety by using health information technology to cut costs and improve care coordination. AUCH provides specialized training and technical assistance to take advantage of economies of scale, including advancing interoperability, leveraging data to drive value, improving quality of care, and optimizing the patient and provider experience.

OTHER HIT RESOURCES

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)
Tools and Resources
Toolkit for small- and medium-sized health care practices that provides a workflow analysis for the planning, design, implementation, and use of health IT.

Optimizing the Presentation and Visualization of Health Data for Patients and Providers (May 2017)
Archived webcast that discusses designing health information displays inpatient portals to enable effective patient self-management, as well as methods for making data in EHRs more accessible and useful for providers.

Alliance for Health Reform
Telemedicine: The Promise and Challenges (June 2015)
Toolkit provides background on telemedicine and discusses policy issues associated with the topic.

American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP)
Innovation Lab
Created to partner with industry to drive innovation with the latest proven technologies: cloud, artificial intelligence (AI)/machine learning, and voice and mobile technologies, to optimize the family medicine experience.

American Medical Association (AMA)
Digital Health
Information on how the AMA is ensuring the physician perspective is represented in the design, implementation, and evaluation of new health care technologies.

Bipartisan Policy Center Task Force on Delivery System Reform and Health IT
Transforming Health Care: The Role of Health IT (January 2012)
Report presenting Task Force findings and recommendations in two primary areas: real-world examples and best practices that facilitate coordinated, accountable, patient-centered care; and recommendations for ensuring that current health information technology efforts support delivery system and payment models shown to improve quality and reduce costs in health cares, in ways that best utilize scarce public and private resources.

Department of Health Policy, School of Public Health and Health Services, The George Washington University
Quality Incentives for Federally Qualified Health Centers, Rural Health Clinics and Free Clinics: A Report to Congress (January 2012)
Report to Congress that addresses the Health Information Technology (HIT) incentives available to FQHCs and highlights the fact that Rural Health Clinics and free clinics are often excluded from incentive programs.

Employers Council (Formerly MSEC)
State Cyber-Security and Data Privacy Statues to Protect Information and Notify Users (August 2019)
Bulletin addressing state-level laws regarding cyber-security and data privacy; includes a chart indicating which states require a security policy, have a notification policy for data breach, and more.

Health Information Technology, Evaluation, and Quality (HITEQ) Center
EHR Vendors Most Frequently Used by Health Centers
Resources and guidance for the selection of an electronic health record (EHR) vendor and product. Tools are available that can be used as part of a structured process to identify and procure the EHR system that fits the functionalities and needs of your center, and which will support developing a mutually beneficial relationship with the software vendor for successful EHR implementation.

Health IT Buzz
EMR vs EHR – What’s the Difference?
Article addressing the distinctions between Electronic Medical Records (EMR) and Electronic Health Records (EHR).

Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Office for the Advancement of Telemedicine (OAT)
Telehealth Programs
Provides information regarding telemedicine grants, current grant recipients, and program descriptions.

Markel Foundation
Connecting for Health
Public-private collaborative of more than 100 organizations enabling health professionals and patients to use information technology.

National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) 
Electronic Health Record (EHR) User Groups
Six EHRs that NACHC supports through user groups including eClinicalWorks, NextGen Healthcare, GE Centricity, Greenway Success EHS, Greenway Intergy, and Dentrix.

HIE Toolkit
Toolkit of practical health information exchange resources, including the following tools:
Forming or Joining a Health Information Exchange – First Considerations

Health Information Exchange Return on Investment (ROI) Calculator

Health Information Exchange DIRECT Guide

Health Information Exchange Policy Matrix

Health Information Exchange Privacy and Security Overview and Resource List

A National Survey of Health Information Technology (HIT) Adoption in Federally Qualified Health Centers (2009)
Report on the findings of a NACHC survey of close to 1,000 FQHCs in 2008 that was an effort to obtain a better understanding of adoption rates, trends in the use of HIT, and identify common barriers to adoption of HIT among health centers.

RCHN Community Health Foundation 
Technology in Focus
Website addressing technology issues of interest to health centers, providing columns and other writings, links to timely external content, and resource suggestions for making the use of technology more effective. These include information about health center-relevant technology and related policy and serves as a resource for more specific information related to a number of issues, including but not limited to: technology adoption; technology evolution, new infrastructure, and service models; solutions to support meaningful use; federal programs and opportunities; and reports from meetings and conferences of interest to health centers.

Rural Health Information Hub
Homepage
Funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy to be a national clearinghouse on rural health issues.