Patients who receive long-term and post acute care services (LTPAC) services obtain care from a diverse group of physicians, clinicians and specialists, and experience frequent care transitions. Yet, this vital segment lags in its access to the IT systems, resources and incentives available to other segments.
For many LTPAC providers, the cost of HIT implementation and the additional need to effectively exchange information is a significant barrier to interoperability. Using simpler and more cost-effective methods for exchanging information, such as the Direct Messaging Protocol 10, is one way for LTPAC providers to practically deal with the challenge of longitudinal coordination of care.
Whatever the ultimate solution, the view from these stakeholders is that LTPAC providers must:
1. Make smart technology choices now
2. Bring data and results to the table
3. Lead the discussion of care transitions and coordination of care
4. Advance their cause locally and nationally through the LTPAC HIT collaborative
The collaborative that came together voluntarily in 2005, created the first HIT Summit and Roadmap. They did so without the inducement of Federal grants or incentives. Butthe landscape has changed and it is uneven. Today, an expanded collaborative of committed LTPAC providers can offer a growing body of experience for improving care transitions and coordination. At this critical time, the public and private sector should redouble its efforts to ensure that the nation’s “third healthcare pillar” is able to fully participate in the information-enabled health care system of the future.
This has been an excerpt from, “The Health Information Technology Landscape for Long-Term and Post-Acute Care” by Linda Kloss. To download the full report, click here.