September 30, 2009 By News Report
HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius today released a report on how health information technology improved health care in the Columbia Basin Health Association (CBHA) in Othello, Wash. CBHA used its EHR system to better track 1,302 diabetic patients. CBHA monitored whether patients received recommended exams and then provided feedback to health care providers on their performance. In January 2008, only 31 percent of patients at CBHA had received a foot exam and only 37 percent had received an eye exam during the previous year. By June 2008, 86 percent of patients had received a foot exam and 63 percent had received an eye exam over the previous year. Since CBHA's implementation of EHRs, the community health center has consistently ranked above the 95th percentile nationally in total medical and dental team productivity, according to a release from Sebelius' Office.
This Digital Communities white paper highlights discussions with IT officials in four counties that have adopted shared services models. Our aim was to learn about the obstacles these governments have faced when it comes to shared services and what it takes to overcome those roadblocks. We also spoke with several members of the IT industry who have thought long and hard about these issues. The paper offers some best practices for shared government-to-government services, but also points out challenges that government and industry still must overcome before this model gains widespread adoption.