Statewide HIT Plan Released, HCA Seeking Comments

On Friday, Jan 29, The Massachusetts eHealth Institute released its “Massachusetts Draft State-wide HIT Plan” for a two-week public comment period.   The plan outlines a number of goals for the expanded use of electronic health records and initiatives to improve the sharing of health information across care settings.  The goals outlined in the draft document include:

Goal 1: Improve access to comprehensive, coordinated, person-focused health care through widespread provider adoption and meaningful use of certified EHRs.

Goal 2: Demonstrably improve the quality and safety of health care across all providers through HIT that enables better coordinated care, provides useful evidence-based decision support applications, and can report out data elements to support quality measurement.

Goal 3: Slow the growth of health care spending through efficiencies realized from the use of HIT.

Goal 4: Improve the health and wellness of the Commonwealth’s population through public health programs, research, and quality improvement efforts enabled through efficient, reliable and secure health information exchange processes.

The plan addresses these goals through six specific strategies.  Each strategy is detailed in a separate chapter of the Plan:

Strategy 1: Establish Multi-Stakeholder Governance.

Strategy 2: Establish a Privacy Framework to Guide the Development of a Secure HIT Environment.

Strategy 3: Implement Interoperable Health Records in all Clinical Settings and Assure They Are Used to Optimize Care.

Strategy 4: Develop and Implement a Statewide HIE Infrastructure to Support Care Coordination, Patient Engagement, and Population Health.

Strategy 5:
Create a Local Workforce to Support HIT Related Initiatives.

Strategy 6: Monitor Success.

Unfortunately, the plan focuses almost exclusively on hospitals and physician’s offices.  Home health is discussed only once:

“All providers must eventually adopt interoperable and certified EHRs in order for the Commonwealth to realize measurable improvements in quality, safety, efficiency, and population health. However, like the federal government, the Commonwealth will need to prioritize efforts and address specific types of providers first. Once the majority of physicians and acute care hospitals have adopted EHRs, other types of health care settings or providers–such as dental, chiropractic, long term care, home health, behavioral health, and pharmacy– will be included in subsequent state efforts.”

The Alliance is drafting comments to urge that home health be brought into the plan as early as possible to bring care coordination into the home setting.  Alliance members encouraged to submit your own comments by February 14.  (Please forward copies of your comments to James Fuccione, Director of Legislative and Public Affairs, at

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