Preparing for meaningful use
Electronic case reporting (eCR) is the initial use case that the Digital Bridge initiative is advancing to improve the bidirectional exchange of public health data between public health agencies and health care providers.
Beginning in 2018, eCR will be a public health reporting measure that eligible hospitals (EHs) and professionals (EPs) may perform for credit under specific Medicaid or Medicare programs (e.g., Meaningful Use, Quality Payment Program).
Whether eCR is available for any particular EH or EP depends on the eCR readiness of their jurisdictional public health agency. EHs and EPs must check with their local and state public health agency to determine the eCR readiness status.
As the Digital Bridge collaborates with seven sites to implement an eCR approach developed for nationwide scalability and enhanced delivery of effective disease control and patient care practices, there will be many lessons learned about what it takes for a public health agency to become ready for eCR. These lessons will be shared once the implementations have gone into production and best practices are identified.
Meanwhile, as public health officials work to determine or advance their agency’s readiness for eCR, the following guidance documents developed by the Meaningful Use (MU) Public Health (PH) Reporting Requirements Task Force should help:
- Public Health Agency Readiness for Meaningful Use 2015 – 2018
- Recommended Functional For Registration of Intent and On-Boarding Processes
The PMO has continued to coordinate and facilitate implementation taskforce calls and individual site calls, while adding a monthly all-site call to discuss key topics and issues across all sites. The draft implementation plan has gone through additional reviews and updates to reflect feedback given by taskforce members. Key milestones for Wave 1 sites have also been added to the implementation plan to track progress. The PMO has documented architecture deviations for each Wave 1 site to highlight differences with each implementation. Initial AIMS onboarding and connectivity activities have begun for Utah; Kansas and Michigan will follow Utah. These initial AIMS activities will feed the onboarding deliverables, and the PMO is working with the AIMS team to ensure everything is captured appropriately.
The strategy workgroup held two meetings on Monday May 1 and Monday May 15. During these meetings, the workgroup reviewed the charge, discussed assigned deliverables (Digital Bridge roadmap, eCR sustainability plan, and Digital Bridge sustainability plan), and agreed on a timeline for all activities moving forward. The workgroup also discussed the upcoming Digital Bridge Greenhouse meeting and provided feedback on expected meeting outcomes to inform the work of the group moving forward. After the Greenhouse, the workgroup will reconvene and begin meeting weekly to execute on their charge.
Legal and Regulatory
RWJF, APHL and the Digital Bridge PMO have engaged the law firm Davis Wright Tremaine LLP (DWT) to support the development of agreements that can be used by eCR data sharing partners. The team at DWT is led by Adam Greene who has extensive experience in health care, public health and health IT. Using PHII as a point of contact, the legal and regulatory workgroup will provide guidance to the DWT team and feedback on their materials. Regular workgroup meetings are now getting underway with Dr. Walter Suarez of Kaiser Permanente serving as chair.
The evaluation committee kicked off work on April 26. Chaired by Dr. Jeff Engel, CSTE Executive Director, and staffed by MITRE, the committee organized itself into four subgroups to expedite the development of the first deliverable (i.e., an evaluation plan). The subgroups are: set-up and maintenance, overall implementation processes, surveillance functions, and business case. This past week, a fifth subgroup was added to ensure that “digital information exchange and use” was accounted for in the evaluation plan. Committee work is progressing rapidly in the hope of having a draft evaluation plan ready to share with implementation sites and the governance body in mid-June and to finalize with the governance body meeting near the end of July.
New workgroups have been assigned for the next phase of the Digital Bridge initiative: the eCR implementation taskforce, the strategy workgroup and the evaluation committee. Visit the workgroups page for more details.
Seven sites selected to participate in eCR implementations
The Digital Bridge project management office has selected seven sites to participate in eCR implementations: California, Houston, Kansas, Massachusetts, New York City, Michigan and Utah. Site implementations will begin in the spring of 2017 and will continue through 2018 in a phased roll-out.
Transforming Public Health through Collaboration with Health Care
Jim Jellison and Vivian Singletary, part of the Digital Bridge project management office, recently presented on the project during a webinar hosted by the Public Health National Center for Innovations (PHNCI). Entitled Transforming Public Health through Collaboration with Health Care, the recording can be viewed and shared here.Watch Webinar »