The health care landscape is ever-changing, and as more information technology consultants venture into the industry, it's important to learn some health care IT consulting key terms to get started on the right foot. Health information technology is quickly becoming the fastest-growing sector in modern medicine. As doctors and hospitals move to electronic health records, mobile diagnostics, data-managed practices and real-time information sharing, a good IT consultant would do well to get familiar with the new lingo.
Bidirectional Health Information Exchange (BHIE)If your consulting work will take you into government health services IT, you should know that the Bidirectional Health Information Exchange, or BHIE, connects electronic Department of Defense patient records with those maintained by the Department of Veterans' Affairs. As military service members receive care at either VA or DoD medical centers, their electronic health record (EHR) is maintained in both government systems simultaneously using BHIE real-time technology.
Biosurveillance (BSV)Biosurveillance, or BSV, uses health care information technology to track symptoms, medical diagnoses and sales of non-prescription drugs. Theoretically, those who track syndromic reporting data would be able to pinpoint the source of an outbreak or biological weapons attack by backtracking through BSV data to confirm and even determine the origins of an outbreak.
Centers for Disease Control.
Clinical Decision Support (CDS)Health care managers are taking advantage of data-rich resources throughout the industry by instituting clinical decision support (CDS). Doctors use CDS to determine best practices based on past outcomes tracked in the data, and then institute those practices and the latest evidence-based research data to treat patients.
Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996 mandates that health care providers take significant measures to safeguard protected health information, or PHI. Any IT tool that handles patient information must comply with HIPAA privacy standards, while still facilitating an appropriately timely flow of information.
Department of Health and Human Services has detailed information on how HIPAA affects both patients and care providers.
Health Information Management (HIM)Professionals in the field of health information management (HIM) develop and maintain data collection and reporting programs, primarily for quality and patient safety initiatives and clinical decision support. HIM brings together -- and requires an expertise in -- medical informatics, clinical diagnostics and treatments, electronic health records, medical coding and billing, quality and human resources management.
Physician Quality Reporting Initiative (PQRI)The Physician Quality Reporting Initiative (PQRI) is a program run by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to encourage physician self-reporting through pay-for-performance measures. CMS requires that physicians report their outcomes data each year for at least three services covered by Medicare; in return, the physicians are paid an incentive payment of 2% of their total allowed Medicare charges that year.
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services website.