In a new report, the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) outlines how policymakers can leverage health information technology to support patient engagement.
The NCQA conducted informant interviews and directed consumer focus groups; and then convened a multi-stakeholder task force to analyze and critique the draft report of the results, recommend additional considerations and provide guidance for next steps. Ultimately, they say patient engagement supported by health IT is promising, but untapped.
In total, the private, non-profit organization came up with four specific recommendations for policymakers:
- Create a comprehensive statement of joint principles to advance the design, development and implementation of health IT tools that help achieve the Triple Aim. This, the report says, is vital to ensuring that tools for patients and their families have the technical capability to integrate with the healthcare system.
- Develop and implement an evaluation framework to target investment and support consumer choice, which is needed to measure and understand what works best for patient engagement.
- Advance the development of a unified health data integration strategy that prioritizes engagement, which will promote access to and use of data that are relevant and meaningful to patients.
- Demonstrate innovative uses of health IT for patient engagement. This would expand evidence; target activities and populations most likely to achieve the Triple Aim.
“The core idea driving this report is that HIT should be designed around the needs and preferences of patients, and we hope our recommendations will have a substantial impact on how the health care system uses HIT,” NCQA President Margaret E. O’Kane, said in a statement. “NCQA is committed to creating consensus around important quality issues, and the question of how to link HIT and patient engagement is an area where a unified strategy is most needed.”
The full report can be read here.