Wednesday, May 1, 2019


Strong Information Technology Is Essential for Quality Health Care

A strong information technology (IT) infrastructure is essential for maximizing the quality and efficiency of healthcare services, as well as for a viable business model. While this is true for physical health care alone, it is especially necessary for ensuring comprehensive, personalized integrated care for physical health conditions, mental illnesses and substance use disorders.

NJAMHAA’s relentless advocacy for funding for behavioral healthcare providers’ electronic health record (EHR) systems has paid off with the recent announcement of funding from the New Jersey Department of Health and Department of Human Services for substance use treatment providers to implement and upgrade EHR systems and connect to the New Jersey Health Information Network. And NJAMHAA continues to call nonstop for state dollars for mental healthcare providers to also implement or upgrade their EHRs.

Our advocacy also led to EHR-related provisions in two federal bills. The 21st Century Cures Act includes provisions for enhancing interoperability, facilitating information sharing and reinforcing the security of health IT, which the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology will be implementing. The SUPPORT [Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment] for Patients and Communities Act includes a Medicare provision for testing incentive payments for behavioral health providers for adoption and use of certified EHR technology.

Interoperability is so essential that our IT Project has made it the topic of the keynote presentation at its annual conference, Get Smart - Be In CONTROL and Combat KAOS, which will be held on May 29, 2019 at the Pines Manor, Edison, NJ. Van Ly, Senior Director of the New Jersey Innovation Institute, will kick off the conference with a compelling presentation, Interoperability, Opportunity and the Future of Healthcare Technology.

This conference is not just for IT staff, as demonstrated by not only the keynote presentation, but also many other conference highlights:

§  Plenary presentation, Blockchain Technology in Combating the Opioid Crisis and Mental Health Disorders, by Edward Bukstel, CEO of Clinical Block Chain.
§  Workshop, Cyber-Threat Management:  Evolving Compliance & Regulations - Are You Prepared?
§  Three Human Resources workshops: HR Compliance in 2019: What You Need to Know; Workplace Violence/Active Assailant Readiness; and Diversity in the Workplace
 
I have no doubt that you and your teams will gain a lot from this conference and I look forward to seeing you there! Visit www.njamhaa.org/events for more details and to register.

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