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The eHealth eQuality program is designed to support Behavioral Health (BH) and Long-Term and Post-Acute Care (LTPAC) providers in Massachusetts in the adoption of interoperable Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems. The effective use of EHRs helps improve the quality and efficiency of health care.
Patients transition between healthcare settings to obtain the full spectrum of care they need. It is important that BH, LTPAC and other providers adopt EHRs and electronically communicate with each other when they treat the same patients. For instance, BH and Primary Care providers work together when patients struggling with depression have difficulty with chronic illness management, and LTPAC and hospitals partner for post-operative care when patients transition to rehab services. Effective communication leveraging Health IT facilitates providers to share vital information, avoid drug interactions, and improve the continuum of care for their patients.
Most BH and LTPAC providers are not eligible to participate in other EHR incentive programs and may lack access to other resources to procure and implement EHRs. As a result, they are slower to adopt EHRs. According to MeHI’s 2014 Provider & Consumer Health IT Research Study, non-affiliated BH and LTPAC providers in Massachusetts have an EHR adoption rate that is far below the rate of Primary Care and other specialty providers.
MeHI's program assists BH and LTPAC providers in the procurement and implementation of interoperable EHRs and in the effective use of these technologies. This use will facilitate these providers joining other providers in using Health IT to enhance patient care coordination, ease transitions of care, and advance healthcare in Massachusetts.