Using Technology to Improve Patient Care

Dr With Tablet

Arizona health care providers are using new tools that help them store and share member health records. As part of the agency strategic plan, AHCCCS encourages providers to adopt Health Information Technology tools that streamline the delivery of health care services and can improve member health care outcomes.

Under the HITECH Act that was passed in 2009, Congress provided funding and leadership to help move the US health care system from paper based record keeping into electronic or digital formats. Since 2011, AHCCCS and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid ( CMS ) have administered an EHR Incentive Program that has awarded $691 million dollars to Arizona providers for installing EHR systems.

To help health care providers move from paper-based records to electronic health records and to be able to more easily retrieve and transfer data, AHCCCS implemented an Electronic Health Record (EHR) incentive payment program. The EHR incentive program was designed to support qualified Medicaid providers with Health IT transition and instill the use of EHRs in meaningful ways to improve the quality, safety, and efficiency of patient health care.

Benefits of adopting EHR technology include:

  • More real time clinical information to better inform provider care planning
  • Increased administrative efficiencies
  • Potential to reduce repeated health-related testing
  • Improved communication between providers

According to a recent Arizona State University, Center for Health Information Research report, over 91% of Arizona physicians report using EHRs in their day to day work compared to only 45% of physicians who responded to the same survey in 2009.