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ONC Issues Million Hearts EHR Optimization Guides

March 10, 2016
by Heather Landi
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The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) has released electronic health record (EHR) optimization guides for its Million Hearts campaign to help healthcare professionals use their EHRs to identify at-risk patients and protect them from cardiovascular events.

In a blog post in the ONC Health IT Buzz blog, Thomas Mason, M.D., the agency’s chief medical officer said NextGen, Cerner and Allscripts have each produced the first of the EHR optimization guides for the Million Hearts campaign, which is a national initiative to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes by 2017.

The guides offer step-by-step instructions to illustrate how providers can use their EHR systems to find, use and improve data on the Million Hearts clinical quality measures. These measures tied to the Million Hearts campaign, referred to as “ABCS,” are—aspirin therapy when appropriate, blood pressure control, cholesterol management and smoking cessation. These measures help healthcare providers identify at-risk patients so clinical teams can protect patients from heart attacks, strokes and other cardiovascular events.

“Ultimately, these guides facilitate the timely and systematic identification of at-risk patients, helping clinical teams across the country protect their patients from heart attacks, strokes, and other cardiovascular events,” Mason wrote.

“Healthcare professionals – many through the Regional Extension Center (REC) Program – have expressed the need for assistance in maximizing EHR functionality to improve the quality and efficiency of care being provided to patients. As a result, ONC disseminated an open, nationwide “Call to Action”, through which all EHR vendors were invited to develop vendor-specific guides around extracting patient-level data on the seven Million Hearts measures to assist healthcare professionals with planning performance and quality improvement interventions,” Mason wrote in the blog post.

Mason stated that ONC encourages all EHR vendors to collaborate with ONC on developing additional Million Hearts EHR optimization guides. The guides can be found in the Million Hearts Resource Center on HealthIT.gov.


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