e-Health: Baseline Assessment of Health Information Technology Use by Providers in Iowa

Iowa e-Health is a public and private collaboration that seeks to improve health care quality, safety and efficiency through the use of health information technology (HIT). This includes electronic health records (EHRs) to collect and store patient health information, and a statewide health information exchange (HIE) to share health records across the boundaries of individual care settings.

Iowa e-Health was initiated in 2008 when the Iowa Legislature enacted House File 2539, which established eleven advisory councils charged with making recommendations for health reform in Iowa. One of the eleven advisory councils is the e-Health Executive Committee and Advisory Council, administered by the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH).

To better understand HIT use by a variety of health care provider types, Iowa e-Health, in collaboration with the University of Iowa Public Policy Center (UI PPC), conducted an assessment of HIT issues facing health care providers in Iowa.

The current effort included five health provider settings: 1) home health, 2) long-term care, 3) pharmacies, 4) laboratories, and 5) radiology centers. This summary presents information about all five assessments.

The assessments gathered information about a range of HIT topics including: 1) provider HIT capabilities and preparedness to participate in a statewide HIE;
2) preferences for types of high-value clinical data exchange or HIE services; and 3) benefits and barriers to HIT adoption.