Foothold In The Fight Against Opioid Abuse

Partnering With Others Through the HIMSS EHRA

As an Electronic Health Record (EHR) vendor, Foothold Technology participates in several national collaboratives convened to examine the challenges individuals and providers face in our changing landscape. Through partnerships and by collaborating with others, we share ideas on how to effectively harness the power of technology to support communities across the country. Through our participation, we strive to ensure the voices of our customers are heard on a national level, and actively generate innovative ways to address, collectively, the needs of the communities we support.

One such collaborative, HIMSS, offers our organization a place to learn and share best practices with other health-related technology vendors. Each year we attend HIMSS trade shows and conferences, provide expertise on educational webinars, and share ideas with our stakeholders. Most of our involvement this past year has been through pro-bono committee work, largely through the HIMSS EHR Association (EHRA).

Foothold’s Involvement in EHRA Committees and Workgroups

In plain speak, David Bucciferro, our Senior Advisor, describes the EHRA as a group that came together to help accelerate EHR adoption. It was designed to improve or enhance the ability of interoperability functionality among physical and behavioral health providers and to identify how an EHR can impact healthcare in positive ways.

Today, through advocacy informed by committees and workgroups, the EHRA is addressing some of the most pressing issues faced by users of electronic records and human services providers. David participates in the Delivery System Reform (DSR) Workgroup, the Public Policy Leadership (PPL) Workgroup, and was appointed to the Membership Committee. David also participates in the Quality Measurement (QM) Workgroup where he joins Foothold Technology’s Alex Attinson, a member of our Quality Assurance and Connected Care team, to provide expertise around clinical decision support and clinician experience. To brainstorm possible solutions to one of the nation’s most pressing challenges, David is also a participant on the Opioid Crisis Task Force where he co-leads the Standards and Technology sub-group. This important group of stakeholders is examining ways health IT functionality can be better utilized as part of the larger solution to combat the opioid crisis in our country.

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EHRA Meets with Congressional Staff

The first week of June was especially active for this Task Force and for the EHRA’s ongoing work. On June 5th, David joined colleagues from around the country for the 2018 EHRA Usability Summit in Washington, DC where he was a participant in and facilitator for important conversations about how to positively impact the end-user experience of EHR users. Among other things, David was asked to represent the perspective of providers supporting individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, as well as share expertise on ambulatory EHRs.

The next day, as part of his role as co-chair of the Opioid Crisis Task Force Standards and Technology subcommittee, David joined a panel discussion with Congressional staff to share the Task Force’s work so far and share initial policy recommendations on ways to maximize the capacities of health IT in the fight against opioid abuse. As described by EHRA in the EHRA NEWSBEAT publication on May 31, 2018, panelists examined critical questions and discussed:

  • The need for increased standardization of PDMP data and technology approaches to better enable public health monitoring, reduce prescriber confusion and decrease state-to-state drug shopping.
  • Opportunities to encourage incorporation of Clinical Decision Support (CDS) tools into the EHR, at the point when prescribing decisions are being made.
    The benefits of nationwide adoption of Electronic Prescribing of Controlled Substances (EPCS) technology.
  • The criticality of increasing access to Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) databases from within the EHR as well as the ability to view prescriptions from neighboring states.

David and the EHRA are compiling valuable information shared and learned at this convening. We’ll be sharing that with you in the coming weeks.

Foothold Technology’s Commitment

For now, it’s important our community of users knows that Foothold remains committed and honored to devote time and resources to the EHRA. As a company, we hope our involvement and resources will raise awareness, and by joining voices with others seeking to address the most pressing issues we know our customers face, we can combine talent, ideas, and technology to create some very positive outcomes. The EHRA has taken a leading role in advocating for legislation that highlights how technology, through an EHR and similar electronic records, can be a player in the fight to tackle public health challenges like the opioid crisis, and David will be sharing his thoughts about new and pending legislation as it continues to unfold.