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Using Clinical Information Technology in Chronic Disease Care: Expert Workshop Summary

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Publication Date: August 2004

Publisher(s): California HealthCare Foundation

Author(s): Robert Mittman

Topic: Health (Health services for the chronically ill)

Type: Report


Clinical information technology (IT) systems are essential to improving the quality and consistency of care for people with chronic disease. However, a variety of obstacles have slowed the development, integration, and deployment of systems that could improve chronic disease care, which represents 75 percent of the nation's direct health care spending. Obstacles include:

*Inconsistent data formats; *Complexity of matching patient information from disparate sources; *Incomplete data; and *Limited functionality in existing disease registries.

To better understand these obstacles, how people are attempting to overcome them, and future trends in the application of clinical IT for chronic disease care, the California HealthCare Foundation convened a workshop of experts from the health care industry. Using Clinical Information Technology in Chronic Disease Care: Expert Workshop Summary is a concise review of the experts' experiences, knowledge, and forecasts on the contribution of IT strategies to the treatment of chronic disease care in three practice settings: solo and small group practices, large group practices, and community clinics. For each of the three care settings, the summary describes forces driving development of disease registries and electronic medical records (EMRs); and lists barriers to turning these tools into fully functioning, integrated systems that support chronic disease management at the point of care. The report concludes with the workshop facilitator's forecast.