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With a new year comes new opportunities and advancements in any industry – and now that the New Year dust has settled, it’s time to start thinking about what’s on the horizon in 2018. AHIMA has already done some of the work for us in its report, “Three Things to Watch in HIM for 2018.” This article touches on many of the key topics we’ve been discussing internally— health information management (HIM) in Washington, Informatics on the Rise and health information exchanges (HIEs) and Interoperability.

HIM in Washington

There’s a variety of ongoing legislative activities involving privacy and policy, and one item in particular stood out for HIM professionals trying to make the best of their EHRs and increased documentation burdens—the 21st Century Cures Act.

AHIMA’s Senior Director of Federal Relations, Lauren Riplinger, JD, states that, “ONC is statutorily required to address documentation burden under Cures. The bill requires HHS to establish a goal and develop a strategy to reduce regulatory or administrative burdens related to the use of EHRs. ONC was a little unclear on the details in terms of how they will address it but I think right now they are really in the stage of engaging with stakeholders. CMS is also involved in these discussions as well particularly as they relate to meaningful use and MACRA.”

This is absolutely something to keep an eye on as the battle heads to the hill to make sure HIM professionals can continue supporting physicians in giving exemplary patient care while easing the strain on their already thin administrative resources.

Informatics on the Rise

One of the best ways that organizations can battle the drain on physician time due administrative burdens tied to EHRs is enlisting the help of an informatics professional. This field is growing by the year. Including aiding with the data collection process, defining workflows and making sure information that is gathered can be applied to any area that helps with reimbursement, like MACRA and value-based purchasing. We’ll continue to see informatics taking a front seat in helping to ensure that providers are receiving the money that they deserve.

HIEs and Interoperability

This is an area of high interest for DataFile—and AHIMA agrees that interoperability is, “…subject #1 for the ONC, health IT vendors, healthcare standards developers and even patients.” Receiving records wherever the patient resides or goes for an appointment would have an enormous impact on the industry and patient satisfaction. Take a look at our Velocity program to see how we’re working to keep patients at top of mind and make this need a reality.

 

Whether you’re prepared for these changes or not, they’re coming! Let DataFile help you ensure you’re equipped for what’s to come in 2018 and beyond. Reach out to our healthcare data experts today.

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