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The Healthcare IT Glossary

Gregory Tompkins| April 21 2017

| IT insights

healthcare-it-glossary.jpgWhether you've landed a new IT job in the healthcare or simply looking to brush up on healthcare lingo, referring to this healthcare IT glossary will help.

Security and compliance are a detrimental aspect of IT work in healthcare. Your Chief Compliance Officer (CCO) or Data Protection Officer (DPO) is expecting you and your IT team to understand the protocols put in place to comply with HIPAA. Unfortunately, sysadmins and compliance officers generally don't speak the same language. However, you must be aligned nonetheless. 

That's why we created this healthcare IT glossary. Next time your compliance officer asks for a report on the security controls in place on EHRs, you'll be better prepared to act accordingly. 

Healthcare IT Terminology

A hospital system or health care system is 2 or more hospitals owned, sponsored, or contract managed by a central organization.

A hospital network is a network or group of hospitals that work together to coordinate and deliver a broad spectrum of services to their community.  No co-ownership.

A nonprofit organization (NPO) is an organization with the purpose of which is something other than making a profit.  A nonprofit organization uses its surplus revenue to further achieve its purpose or mission, rather than distributing its surplus income to the organization's shareholders (or equivalents) as profit or dividends. The decision to adopt a nonprofit legal structure is one that will often have taxation implications, particularly where the nonprofit seeks income tax exemption, charitable status and so on.

Outcomes are the goal of measuring, reporting, and comparing health outcomes is to improve the patient experience of care. Improve the health of populations and reduce costs.

Fee-for-service (FFS) is a payment model where services are unbundled and paid for separately. In health care, it gives an incentive for physicians to provide more treatments because payment is dependent on the quantity of care, rather than quality of care.

Value-based Reimbursement - In the rapidly changing healthcare landscape, payers are asking providers to shift from volume-based care (fee for service) to a value-based reimbursement structure (fee for value) with a population health approach.

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Population Health Management is the aggregation of patient data across multiple health information technology resources, the analysis of that data into a single, actionable patient record, and the actions through which care providers can improve both clinical and financial outcomes.

Electronic health information exchange (HIE) allows doctors, nurses, pharmacists, other health care providers and patients to appropriately access and securely share a patient's vital medical information electronically—improving the speed, quality, safety and cost of patient care.

Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) are groups of doctors, hospitals, and other health care providers, who come together voluntarily to give coordinated high quality care to their Medicare patients.

Meaningful use is using certified electronic health record (EHR) technology to: Improve quality, safety, efficiency, and reduce health disparities. Engage patients and family. Improve care coordination, and population and public health. Maintain privacy and security of patient health information.

The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) enacted to promote the adoption and meaningful use of health information technology.

HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996) is United States legislation that provides data privacy and security provisions for safeguarding medical information.

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a regulation by which the European Parliament, the European Council and the European Commission intend to strengthen and unify data protection for individuals within the European Union (EU).

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is the federal agency within the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that administers the Medicare program and works in partnership with state governments to administer Medicaid.

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) is a staff division of the Office of the Secretary, within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Computerized physician order entry (CPOE) is the process of a medical professional entering medication orders or other physician instructions electronically instead of on paper charts. A primary benefit of CPOE is that it can help reduce errors related to poor handwriting or transcription of medication orders.

Certified Electronic Health Record Technology (CEHRT) are EHR systems certified for meaningful use incentives.

Electronic Medical Records (EMR) contains the standard medical and clinical data gathered in one provider’s office.

Electronic Health Records (EHRs) go beyond the data collected in the provider’s office and include a more comprehensive patient history.

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THIS POST WAS WRITTEN BY Gregory Tompkins

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