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National Transitions of Care Coalition Creates a Work Group on Health Information Technology (HIT)

Friday, September 18, 2009 General News J E 4
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CHICAGO, Aug. 11 At their July Advisory Task Force Meeting in Chicago, the National Transitions of Care Coalition (NTOCC), announced the formation of the Health Information Technology Work Group. The NTOCC HIT Work Group will focus on the national efforts to develop electronic medical records, HIT exchange and promote interoperability to advance improved patient care.

"With HIT now so closely linked to health reform, we see it as a critical component to achieving a more efficient health care system and equally important in facilitating smoother transitions in care that ultimately lead to better patient outcomes," said Cheri Lattimer, RN, BSN, and NTOCC Project Director." To this end, we have assembled a Work Group of notable HIT experts from various sectors of the health care industry." Members of the Work Group are -- Leah Binder, MA, MGA, CEO, The Leapfrog Group; H. Edward Davidson, PharmD, MPH, Assistant Professor Clinical Internal Medicine, Eastern Virginia Medical School; Partner, Insight Therapeutics; David Dorr, Assistant Professor, Oregon Health & Science University; Jean Paul Gagnon, PhD, Senior Director, U.S. Policy & Strategic Advocacy, sanofi-aventis U.S.; Eva Powell, MSW, CPHG, Director Health Information Technology Project of The National Partnership for Women & Families; William M. Russell, Vice President, Clinical Information, Erickson Retirement Communities; Annette Schmidt, Director, External Affairs, sanofi-aventis U.S., and Charles Smith, PhD, CEO, CIGNA.

The HIT Work Group will begin a number of activities including, assessment of the barriers and gaps in health information technology related to transitions of care (TOC) and developing a White Paper that would provide recommendations on how to close gaps or remove barriers.

The Advisory Task Force reaffirmed their consensus on seven considerations for improving transitions. The Coalition is looking to build awareness among legislators and policymakers that these considerations should be part of any health care reform initiatives. The seven considerations are:

Transitions of care include situations in which a patient moves from primary care to specialty physicians or moves within the hospital, including moves from the emergency department to other departments, such as surgery or intensive care; or when a patient is discharged from the hospital and goes home or to an assisted living or skilled nursing facility. Patients, especially older persons, face significant challenges when moving from one level of care or practice setting to another in the healthcare system. During these transitions, lack of communication can result in redundant or conflicting information that often creates serious issues for patients, their caregivers, and their families.

NTOCC is chaired and coordinated by the Case Management Society of America in partnership with and financial support from sanofi-aventis, U.S.

About National Transitions of Care Coalition (NTOCC)

NTOCC was formed in 2006 to address a serious U.S. health care issue: filling the gaps that occur when patients leave one care setting and move to another care setting. These transitions include patients moving from primary care to specialty physicians; moving or transferring patients from the emergency department to intensive care or surgery; or when patients are discharged from the hospital to home, assisted living arrangements, or skilled nursing facilities. The U.S. healthcare system often fails to meet the needs of elderly patient populations during these transitions because care is rushed and responsibility is fragmented with little communication across care settings and multiple providers. These failures lead to undue burdens on patients and their families and negatively impact patient safety, quality of care and outcomes. The focus of NTOCC is to bring together thought leaders and health care experts from various settings to address this critical issue, define solutions and develop tools to address the gaps impacting patient care. Tools and resources developed by NTOCC will be made available to everyone in the health care industry including providers, payers, patients and consumers. NTOCC is chaired and coordinated by the Case Management Society of America in partnership with sanofi-aventis U.S. For more information, visit www.NTOCC.org.

The NTOCC Advisory Board has guided the work of the coalition since 2006 and includes the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy (AMCP), American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging (AAHSA), American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE), American Geriatrics Society (AGS), American Medical Directors Association (AMDA), American Medical Group Association (AMGA), American Society for Healthcare Risk Management (ASHRM), American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP), American Society on Aging (ASA), American Society of Consultant Pharmacists (ASCP), AXA Assistance USA Inc., Case Management Society of America (CMSA), Consumers Advancing Patient Safety (CAPS), Health Services Advisory Group (HSAG), Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), Joint Commission International Center for Patient Safety (ICPS) ,Lipitz Center for Integrated Health Care, Mid-America Coalition on Health Care (MACHC), National Association of Directors of Nursing Administration - Long Term Care (NADONA / LTC), National Association of Social Workers (NASW), National Business Coalition on Health (NBCH), National Case Management Network of Canada (NCMN), National Family Caregivers Association (NFCA), National Quality Forum (NQF), Predictive Health, LLC, sanofi-aventis, U.S., Society of Hospital Medicine (SHM), The Joint Commission Disease - Specific Care Certification, United Health Group (UHG) and URAC.

About Case Management Society of America (CMSA)

Established in 1990, the Case Management Society of America is an international non-profit 501(c)(6) multi-disciplinary professional association dedicated to the support and advancement of the case management profession through educational forums, networking opportunities, legislative advocacy, and establishing standards to advance the profession. It is based in Little Rock, AR, and serves more than 20,000 members/subscribers and 70 affiliate and pending chapters. Since its inception, CMSA has been at the forefront of setting professional standards for the industry, which allows for the highest level of efficiency and integrity, as well as developing national and local leaders who are recognized for their practice and professional excellence. For more information on CMSA, call CMSA at (501) 225-2229 or go to www.cmsa.org.

About sanofi-aventis

Sanofi-aventis U.S. is an affiliate of sanofi-aventis, a leading global pharmaceutical company that discovers, develops and distributes therapeutic solutions to help improve the lives of patients. Sanofi-aventis is listed in Paris (EURONEXT: SAN) and in New York (NYSE: SNY). For more information, visit: www.sanofi-aventis.us or www.sanofi-aventis.com.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:

-- Improve communication during transitions between providers, patients, and caregivers; -- Implement electronic medical records that include standardized medication reconciliation elements; -- Establish points of accountability for sending and receiving care, particularly for hospitalists, SNFists (physicians practicing in skilled nursing facilities), primary care physicians, and specialists; -- Increase the use of case management and professional care coordination; -- Expand the role of the pharmacist in transitions of care; -- Implement payment systems that align incentives; and -- Develop performance measures to encourage better transitions of care.

SOURCE sanofi-aventis
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