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Social Service Agencies - Health Information Technology Toolkit
Social service agencies with robust e-health and health information technology (HIT) capabilities will improve the quality of patient care, in the delivery of health care overall, while positively impacting the organization’s bottom line. Key to this success is the use of a comprehensive electronic health record (EHR) system.
Social service agencies can use Stratis Health’s Health Information Technology Toolkit for Social Service Agencies to implement a comprehensive EHR system, overhaul existing systems, or acquire individual HIT applications. The toolkit can help social service agencies effectively engage in e-health activities by optimizing the use of an EHR and facilitating information sharing through health information exchange (HIE) and other forms of HIT. If additional information (tools) are needed to augment your e-health strategy, please refer to one of our other toolkits such as the Behavioral Health toolkit for additional tools that may be beneficial to your organization.
The tools focus on e-health functionality, people, policy, and processes for success in the social service agency environment. They can help you plan and make the right choices for your agency to achieve success in today’s health care environment.
The toolkit has three experience levels. Read through all the tools to understand how you should be planning your future actions to establish an enabling IT platform with interoperable EHR and effective HIE—and to know what your competition may be striving for.
Understand and determine your social service agency’s current level of experience with HIT and e-health projects. Develop an organizational strategy for advancing e-health based on using all of the tools for your agency’s experience level. Complete lower levels before proceeding to the next higher level. Construct your own timeline based on the applications, technology, and operational activities being undertaken. Each tool indicates how long it takes to implement.
The Overview section introduces you to the structure and navigation of the social service agency toolkit and the documents within the toolkit. The tools within the social services agency toolkit are applicable to either a new HIT implementation or HIT replacement/upgrade effort.View/Hide the Overview tools
The Assess section provides tools to kick off the e-health planning process. The tools in this section include surveys, inventories, and assessments of your staff's current attitudes toward information technology, computer skills, and technical infrastructure. Use these tools to assess your organization's readiness for an e-health project.View/Hide the Assess tools
The Plan section tools provide a basis for planning a successful e-health project. Many HIT vendors do not support planning, instead relying on the organization for the majority of planning. Investing the time and resources up front will mean spending less time and resources during implementation—and will reap greater value.View/Hide the Plan tools
The Select section provides the foundation for a solid HIT selection process by helping you understand the marketplace and conduct all aspects of vendor selection and contracting. The extent to which you need to review the marketplace depends on your overall IT strategy. If you are part of a corporate structure, the selection process may be performed for you. However, the assessment, planning, implementation, maintain, and optimize tools still will be important for you to use.View/Hide the Select tools
The Implement section builds upon the previous tools to help you address the specific application, technology, and operational elements that have been acquired and will now be implemented. These tools help with the tactical issues to be addressed in any implementation, including sample project plans, issues logs, training plans, and testing plans.View/Hide the Implement tools
The Maintain section provides tools for ensuring that your e-health investment is meeting the goals established at the beginning of the project. Regular maintenance activities will ensure that your organization is getting the most return from its investment in e-health. The tools in this section highlight maintenance activities that should be incorporated into your operational activities.View/Hide the Maintain tools
The Optimize section focuses on gaining optimal value from specific functionality within EHR and HIE. Fine tune skills and explore ways to improve the use of the EHR and HIE. The Optimize tools provide tips from users who have already made the journey—and recognize that the journey is ongoing.View/Hide the Optimize tools
In an effort to improve the quality of the toolkit, we are seeking your feedback. Toolkit documents that are under revision are marked as “Working Draft” while we update the documents. Please send your feedback for improvements to the toolkits to HITtoolkits@stratishealth.org.
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