The Future: What Modernized Health IT Will Look Like
The IHS Health Information Technology (IT) Modernization Program will support consistent patient management across Indian Country. The Program’s enterprise health IT solution will promote increased data integration and usability across IHS, tribal, and urban Indian (I/T/U) providers, as well as support patient-centered care across state lines.
The new electronic health record (EHR) will replace hundreds of unique Resource and Patient Management System (RPMS) instances on local servers at sites across the country, into a single enterprise instance. The EHR will serve all federal IHS facilities, as well as any tribal or urban Indian organizations that want to participate in the Modernization Program. The IHS expects the modernized EHR solution to meet or exceed the existing capabilities of the current RPMS EHR.
All participating sites will have seamless access to the health records of patients that they share. Care sites will be able to share patient information with external systems – from private sector referral networks to other federal agencies such as the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs .
With an enterprise EHR in place, the IHS will prioritize the user experience of patients, clinical providers, and other staff in healthcare facilities. IHS will make sure the EHR is configured to align with best practices identified by I/T/U subject matter experts and supports the clinical and business processes of our users. The EHR will be updated over time to incorporate changes in medical practices, technology, and regulations.
From a patient perspective, the IHS expects an improved experience in accessing their own health information, regardless of where they receive care. We also expect improved self-care management, with features for scheduling appointments, requesting medication refills, and communicating with care teams. Access to care through telehealth will continue to be an agency priority.
By utilizing a single enterprise EHR solution, the IHS and participating tribal and urban Indian partners will have better access to data about the care we provide, and the outcomes achieved through that care. This understanding will help IHS identify opportunities to improve care, and enable the agency to report to Congress, the White House, and the American taxpayer on the success in meeting the IHS mission to improve the health status of American Indian and Alaska Native people.