The critical role of health information technology in the safe integration of behavioral health and primary care to improve patient care


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J Behav Health Serv Res. October 19, 2021. doi: 10.1007 / s11414-021-09774-0. Online ahead of print.


Integrated behavioral health and primary care are a set of related approaches aimed at improving the delivery, safety and quality of care through closer collaboration and coordination between clinicians and care organizations in these two areas. Technology (for example, electronic health records (EHRs), telehealth, clinical decision support, and standards-based interoperability) can enable integration and improve delivery of care. Enhancing these opportunities, virtual care and telehealth have dramatically altered the availability and delivery of care, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. There are different levels of integration, ranging from minimal collaboration to full collaboration. The Partnership for Health IT Patient Safety and the HIMSS Electronic Health Record Association (EHRA) have formed a working group to examine the use of information technology to facilitate integration. Taking a three-pronged approach focused on (1) screening for behavioral health issues, (2) documenting clinicians, and (3) sharing data between clinicians, patients and authorized parties, the working group Developed action-oriented recommendations and strategies for the safe use of health IT for stakeholders and decision-makers seeking to advance efforts to integrate behavioral health into primary care.

PMID: 34668115 | DOI: 10.1007 / s11414-021-09774-0


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