Improving Health for Populations and Communities: Prevention
Better Primary Prevention and Diagnosis
Electronic health records (EHRs) give physicians a powerful tool for preventing errors, measuring performance, and sharing information with patients and other providers. As more practitioners adopt EHRs and make them part of the patient care process, they also are relying on them to coordinate individual care and manage population health.
HealthInsight New Mexico initiatives for improving population and community health through effective use of health information technology include:
Increasing rates of preventive screenings. Effective use of health information technology increases the capacity of primary care physicians to deliver preventive services. Building on the success of previous EHR initiatives, HealthInsight New Mexico is working with primary care practices that want to take full advantage of their EHR functionality for supporting care coordination to increase rates of screening mammograms, colorectal screenings, and influenza and pneumonia vaccinations. Participating practices can increase the number of patients for whom they have complete preventive care data, identify patients who need preventive care, measure and improve preventive care performance, and report data to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).
Reducing cardiac risk factors. The QIO Program is a partner in the “Million Hearts” campaign, a joint initiative of CMS, the American Heart Association, and other national health care stakeholders that aims to improve America’s heart health. “Million Hearts” seeks to reduce cardiac risk factors that include hypertension, smoking and high cholesterol and increase heart healthy behaviors, such as aspirin use for those who need it. Through HealthInsight New Mexico, local physicians and patients can link to resources for care coordination and patient self-management. HealthInsight New Mexico is also supporting practices in using their EHRs to coordinate care and measure improvement in the health of patients who are most at risk for a heart attack.
Supporting more and better clinical quality data. Until recently, physician practices that wanted to participate in the CMS Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) had to submit claims or registry data. Now practices can report these data directly from their EHR systems. HealthInsight New Mexico is providing technical assistance to accurately capture the required data elements and extract them for reporting. This reporting qualifies practices for incentive payments that add to their usual annual Medicare reimbursement amounts. It also generates information for CMS’ Physician Compare website, which will help consumers use information about quality to select a health care provider.
Connecting EHRs to quality improvement. HealthInsight New Mexico is coordinating with the New Mexico Health Information Technology Regional Extension Center (NM HITREC) to offer improvement expertise to practices that have implemented an EHR but not yet attained meaningful use. This may include, for example, offering assistance in interpreting clinical performance data and using it to drive and measure change.
Convening a Learning and Action Network. HealthInsight New Mexico is convening a statewide learning and action network (LAN) that recognizes everyone has knowledge that can contribute to better care. By participating in a LAN, health care providers can harness the power of a community for addressing common challenges, connect with peers for mentoring, be the first to know about improvement breakthroughs – and how they can replicate them in their own practice.
Medicare Preventive Benefits Information
Providers in New Mexico can help CMS achieve its mission of informing people with Medicare about the preventive benefits available to them. Medicare covers many important screenings and other benefits to help people with Medicare live healthier and more active lives. More Information
Contact the Prevention Team