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Nutrition Informatics Blog

Meaningful Use?

(HITECH Overview and Updates) Permanent link
On February 17, 2009, Congress passed the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act, also known as ARRA. In it were two sections addressing health information technology (HIT), which together are known as the “HITECH” (Health Information Technology for Economic & Clinical Health).  The HITECH Act was intended to nudge the adoption of HIT in two distinct ways:
1) Providing Medicare/Medicaid financial incentives to primary physicians and small hospitals who adopt EHRs in the next five years2) Developing an infrastructure for supporting best practices in HIT implementation, work process redesign, security and privacy considerations, and other critical factors driving successful use of HIT.The HITECH Act mandated a definition for “meaningful use” of Electronic Health Records (EHRs).  Written into the law is a very aggressive timeline: both the Office of the National Coordinator of HIT (ONC) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) have worked around the clock to meet many of the tight timelines for creating definitions and an infrastructure.  The definition is pertinent to any health care professional, as it embraces the critical need that HIT be adopted in such a way that assures quality care and which embraces improved outcomes.The pertinence to dietitians and ADA can be summarized by two important facts:1. The HITECH Act targets only a small portion of health professionals for incentive payments.  It does not include dietitians—or a host of physician specialists, social workers, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech and language pathologists, etc.2. The HITECH Act excludes dietitians and ADA only if we allow it to.  The ADA has been working since before 1998 to position dietitians for inclusion in this kind of care. The Nutrition Care Process, Standardized Language, Evidence Analysis Library, Nutrition Informatics Work Groups and Committees, are among a few of the initiatives that create a solid foundation for our integration into this Infrastructure. In order to embrace the incentive program, critical policies and standards harmonization will help to create a robust infrastructure for HIT.ADA will continue to comment in areas of policy and regulation development as they pertain to nutrition care and how it should be supported by health information technology.

Where is the Data?

(Great Quotes) Permanent link
During the course of a day, so many great thoughts, news clips, and videos come across my desk.  Liz Spittler at ADA sent this one! As the United States moves toward adoption of health IT, it is critical for patients to understand the value to their health and work together with their provider to obtain all their data.Great message in this video: Click on the third video down labeled “Doctors.”

What IS Nutrition Informatics?!

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Perhaps it best to start with the present definition of nutrition informatics posed by the ADA Nutrition Informatics Work Group in 2007, and approved by the House of Delegates.

"The effective retrieval, organization, storage, and optimum use of information, data, and knowledge for food and nutrition related problem solving and decision making. Informatics is supported by the use of information standards, information processes, and information technology”.
(ADA Nutrition Informatics Work Group, 2007)
Adapted from the definition of biomedical informatics in Biomedical Informatics by Shortliffe & Cimino Springer Science & Media 2006

You might have noticed I described it as the “present” definition. As this field rapidly evolves, it is likely the definition will as well. Technology and the way we use information continues to be nudged forward by innovative thinkers.

During the past three years, ADA has supported significant discussions on this topic: Open Space Sessions at the annual Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo (FNCE), informatics presentations at a host of venues, and the Nutrition Informatics Work Group, who were the minds that over three years assimilated most of the groundwork for what we need to accomplish. Most importantly, the group worked in tandem with many great staff and other committees at ADA to assure that the goals established were in line with the mission and work of ADA. To all those who served in this capacity, thank you! Please help us further refine what nutrition informatics is all about!

It's all about You!

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Welcome to the Launch of the Nutrition Informatics Blog! This is an exciting time for me, as I look forward to hearing from those working in the area of informatics --and from those just beginning to integrate informatics into their work. As a consultant to ADA and a volunteer--the most enjoyable learning happens when others share their real-life experiences from work and life.

With all the recent discussion of health information technology (HIT), electronic health records (EHR), and Personal Health Records (PHR) in the press, it might seem that this expansive field just bubbled to the top a few years back.  Actually, Biomedical and Nursing Informatics has been around since digital computers were created in the 1940’s.  Given the vast amount of data inherent in the field of nutrition, it seems very logical to utilize technology to manage our information.

I will be sharing details from many working in this space—there is very little in print on nutrition informatics per se, so I hope this serves as a repository of information on the topic.  Please join in the discussion—it is this sharing that allows us all to understand the many possibilities we have.

Yes, I just used this quote—but this is the perfect place for it to land.  I hope you agree.

In his book The Wisdom of Crowds, James Surowiecki notes “groups are remarkably intelligent, and are often smarter than the smartest people in them.” (Surowiecki J. The Wisdom of Crowds. New York: Anchor Books, 2005.)

Nutrition Informatics Blog
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Member Comment Requested: EHR/PHR Nutrition Best Practices Implementation Guide

11/2/2013 9:54:34 AM
Lindsey, I am interested in reviewing this document but am unable to access it even when logged ... more »

Member Comment Requested: EHR/PHR Nutrition Best Practices Implementation Guide

11/2/2013 8:29:21 AM
the webauthor link isn't working

An Informatics Solution to Productivity Tracking

10/31/2013 7:16:49 AM
Is it possible to share this tool with us?

An Informatics Solution to Productivity Tracking

10/16/2013 8:49:19 AM
Can you share? I would like to be able to share with intern how sites are tracking.

Who needs standards? In Health Care?

7/9/2013 9:13:00 AM
I couldn't agree more. Margaret and Elaine, along with other subject matter experts, are doing a fan... more »

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