Using Clinical Information Technology in Chronic Disease Care: Expert Workshop Summary

Robert Mittman


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This is archived content; for historical reference only.

Clinical information technology (IT) systems are essential to improving the quality and consistency of care for people with chronic disease. However, a variety of obstacles has slowed the development, integration, and deployment of systems that could improve chronic disease care, which represents 75% of the nation’s direct health care spending. Obstacles include:

  • Inconsistent data formats
  • Complexity of matching patient information from disparate sources
  • Incomplete data
  • Limited functionality in existing disease registries

To better understand these obstacles, how people are attempting to overcome them, and future trends in the application of clinical IT for chronic disease care, in 2003 the California Health Care Foundation convened a workshop of experts from the health care industry.

Using Clinical Information Technology in Chronic Disease Care: Expert Workshop Summary is a concise review of the experts’ experiences, knowledge, and forecasts on the contribution of IT strategies to the treatment of chronic disease care in three practice settings: solo and small group practices, large group practices, and community clinics.

For each of the three care settings, the report describes forces driving development of disease registries and electronic medical records (EMRs); and lists barriers to turning these tools into fully functioning, integrated systems that support chronic disease management at the point of care. The report concludes with the workshop facilitator’s forecast.