AAP: Health IT needed for medical home

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The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Council on Clinical Information Technology supports the development and universal implementation of a comprehensive electronic infrastructure to facilitate the pediatric information functions of the medical home, according to its “Policy Statement on Health Information Technology and the Medical Home,” in the May issue of Pediatrics.

The medical home model is the central organizing principle for healthcare management for all children, including those with special healthcare needs, wrote authors George R. Kim, MD, FAAP, Division of Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine Division of Health Sciences Informatics, Johns Hopkins, Baltimore; and William Zurhellen, MD, FAAP, of Putnam Valley Pediatrics, in Putnam Valley, N.Y.

According to the authors, the ideal medical home:

  • Translates evidence into high-quality, measurable pediatric care;
  • Provides coordinated pediatric primary and specialty care for all children; and
  • Sustains pediatric practice through fair payment, cost-efficiency and recognition of the value of pediatric primary care.

“The medical home model supports the AAP’s strategic plan by unifying evidence-based practice and the business of pediatric care through patient/family-provider relationships that are based on trust and effective, reliable information management,” the policy statement read.

These pediatric information functions of the medical home include:

1. Timely and continuous management and tracking of health data and services over a patient’s lifetime for all providers, patients, families and guardians;

2. Comprehensive organization and secure transfer of health data during patient-care transitions between providers, institutions and practices;

3. Establishment and maintenance of central coordination of a patient’s health information among multiple repositories, including personal health records (PHRs) and information exchanges;

4. Translation of evidence into actionable clinical decision support; and

5. Reuse of archived clinical data for continuous quality improvement.

“The AAP supports universal, secure and vendor-neutral portability of health information for all patients within medical homes across all care settings … for multiple purposes, including direct care, PHRs, public health and registries,” Kim and Zurhellen wrote. “The AAP also supports financial incentives that promote the development of information tools that meet the needs of pediatric workflows and that appropriately recognize the added value of medical homes to pediatric care.”