Along with the federal government's meaningful use requirements and push toward the adoption of healthcare IT, other organizations are also encouraging physicians and chiropractors to utilize EHR systems.
The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) will be implementing a specialty practice recognition program in order to give specialists the opportunity to coordinate care more closely with a primary care physician, according to InformationWeek Healthcare. This could be a huge boost for the chiropractic community, as patients in a chiropractic setting may need greater unification and communication between their primary care doctor and chiropractor.
NCQA's patient-centered medical home initiative focuses on creating a model in which specialists, lab technicians, primary care physicians and nurse practitioners all collaborate with each other and coordinate care in a connected way.
EHR software plays a big role in the medical home. Without integrated EHR systems, medical workers would be unable to form this team-based approach in treating patients.
NCQA will be emphasizing key traits in medical practices through this recognition program. These include the ability to coordinate care, utilize EHR systems to avoid duplicative testing, provide expedited access to care, enhance communication with patients and utilize continuous development of quality improvement.
In regards to EHR software and other healthcare IT products, Patricia Barret, vice president of product development for NCQA, said, "That technology is clearly an important way to enable the kinds of coordination and communication we think are necessary. We're trying to establish that there needs to be agreement between the referring provider and the specialist about the information that needs to be exchanged. Then you have to follow up to determine whether it does get exchanged."
Chiropractors that are interested in being recognized by NCQA will need to adopt EHR software and create better communication channels between primary care physicians and their chiropractic office.