ANA addresses nurse-specific measures in health IT

The American Nurses Association (ANA) has long supported nurse-specific measures in health IT, in conjunction with advancing nursing’s quality agenda through strategic investment in measure development for future stages of meaningful use in electronic health records (EHR). Meaningful use in this context means using certified EHRs in a measurable, effective way to improve the quality of health care.

As part of the effort to promote those measures, ANA hosted a conference Sept. 13-14 to promote nursing-quality measures in EHR implementation. The conference, “Tipping Point 2 – A Blueprint for Action: Demonstrating Care Coordination in All Settings with HIT Enabled Pressure Ulcer Quality Measures,” was held at ANA headquarters in Silver Spring, MD.

ANA CEO Marla Weston, PhD, RN, said of the meeting: “It provided a unique opportunity for the nursing profession to devise strategies for including nursing-sensitive quality measures in health IT—with the ultimate goal of improving patient safety and raising awareness about the contributions of nurses.”

ANA is concerned that current proposals on the implementation of EHR address too narrow a spectrum, and sidestep the importance of an approach based on inter-professional measures. ANA endorses a method that cuts across settings, transitions of care, and care episodes and takes into account inter-professional, team-based reporting and shared accountability.

As a way to prototype this approach, ANA has promoted collaborative development of a prototype data model to measure instances of pressure ulcers across settings. The model, developed by the Veteran’s Administration and Kaiser Permanente to meet the Office of the National Coordinator Meaningful Use standards, captures data on existing pressure ulcers, pressure ulcer risk assessment, and pressure ulcer risk interventions for identified risk.

The Tipping Point 2 meeting featured discussions and workgroups on defining critical steps and strategies necessary to complete the model. These measures capture the key clinical activities that fall under the responsibilities of nurses in health care settings, including processes of care, comprehensive care coordination and communication, and best practices.

In her testimony to the Office of the National Coordinator on Meaningful Use, ANA Senior Policy Fellow Maureen Dailey, DNSc, RN, CWOCN, said of the model: “The overarching goal is to be able to achieve predictive modeling and identification of best practices that improve patient outcomes and reduce excessive avoidable cost. The best way to achieve this is through the use of timely, clinically-enriched, harmonized data that promotes patient-centered systems of care.”

Representatives from 25 health care organizations, government agencies, associations, and universities attended the meeting.

For more information on the conference or on ANA’s efforts on EHR implementation, go to www.nursingworld.org.

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