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e-News | June 2017

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  FYI: Patient Choice and Quality Care Act of 2017

06 17 Patient Choice and Quality Care ActIn early June, Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) introduced The Patient Choice and Quality Care Act (PCQCA) of 2017 to the House. Sponsors included Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Rep. Blumenauer, Rep. Phil Roe, MD (R-TN), and Senator Mark Warner (D-VA). Senator Warner introduced the bill into the Senate. This bipartisan legislation supports advance care planning and is designed to help people make and document informed decisions about the type of health care they would like to receive near the end of life. The National POLST Paradigm has prepared a 2-page “section-by-section” summary to help you understand the act along with related information.

  DuFour Receives Telemedicine Trailblazer Award

06 17 Lonnie trailblazer awardThe TexLa TRC presented Lonnie DuFour, Telehealth Director, with the Telemedicine Trailblazer Award at its annual conference on June 23 in Amarillo, Texas. The award recognizes innovation in the areas of health information technology (IT), including telemedicine, that may feature new service lines, new ways to collaborate or new strategies to reduce barriers to telehealth/mobile health. In his role with the Quality Forum, DuFour works to advance health IT and telehealth services in Louisiana while serving as the Louisiana Project Coordinator for the TexLa TRC and chair of Louisiana’s Telehealth Access Task Force. In addition, his previous leadership experience at Bunkie General Hospital in Bunkie, La., increased his awareness of the critical need for telehealth services in rural areas of the state. The TexLa TRC’s mission is to expand telehealth capacity and usage in both states for improvement of health care access, quality, and outcomes.

From left, Lonnie DuFour (Quality Forum), Nora Belcher (Texas e-Health Alliance) and Retta Knox, RN (Plainview Foundation for Rural Health Advancement) receive awards at the recent TexLa TRC conference.

  EHR System Implementation Update

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In late 2016, the Quality Forum partnered with the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections (DPS&C) to assess and select a certified electronic health record (EHR) system for the DPS&C headquarters, seven state correctional facilities and more than 30 eligible providers. Representatives from both groups are currently working together to implement and integrate the EHR system. Scheduled for completion in July 2018, the system is designed to support the department’s ability to monitor and improve the health and safety of approximately 17,000 incarcerated offenders in DPS&C’s custody by allowing expanded access to patient data; enabling data generation related to clinical outcomes and patient profile/demographics; and ensuring that patient data is electronically available to incarcerated persons and their providers upon release.

From left, Terry Grady (DPS&C), Wanda Dupuy (DPS&C), Kimberly Carr (DPS&C), DeeAnn Broussard (Quality Forum), Michelle Story (Quality Forum) and Tonya Stelly (DPS&C) review/evaluate current and future workflow designs for new EHR system.



Telehealth Access Task Force Releases Report

06 2017 Telehealth Task Force Semi Annual Report
The Louisiana Telehealth Access Task Force (TATF) has released its latest findings to the governor and the state legislature via the Report on Telehealth Access in Louisiana/June 26, 2017. Lonnie DuFour, Quality Forum Telehealth Director, chairs the TATF and notes that “as a group, we recommend a continued focus on reimbursement and legislative matters as these are two key drivers of increased telehealth access,” adding that TATF remains committed to serving as a resource to the state on these issues. TATF was created through Louisiana House Concurrent Resolution No. 88 as an advisory body to the legislature and the Louisiana Department of Health on policies and practices that expand telehealth access. The report is also available online. 

  ONC Seeks Feedback on Proposed Measurement Framework

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The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) is accepting public comments on its Proposed Interoperability Standards Measurement Framework until 4 p.m. (CT) on Monday, July 31, 2017. The document is designed to assess the implementation and use of health care interoperability standards and will aim to help health IT developers, health information exchange organizations and health care providers move toward a set of uniform measures to assess interoperability progress. Comments and recommendations that are submitted as part of this process will be made public by ONC. For more information, read the ONC blog post: Wanted: Feedback on Ways to Measure the Implementation and Use of Interoperability Standards.
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