ONC seeks apps to help improve care transitions
January 28, 2012 in Medical Technology
WASHINGTON – The National Coordinator for Health Information Technology has launched an innovation challenge designed to spur the use of simple, IT-enabled processes to make care transitions, especially hospital discharges, safer for patients and easier for caregivers.
With support from Health 2.0 and Partnership for Patients, ONC has launched the Discharge Follow-Up Appointment challenge as part of its Investing in Innovation (i2) program.
[See also: ONC puts its money on health IT innovation.]
The i2 Initiative seeks to drive innovations in health IT, using prizes and challenges to facilitate innovation and find solutions to thorny healthcare challenges. Aligned with the Obama administration’s innovation agenda, i2 is the first federal program to operate under the authority of the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010.
The Discharge Follow-Up Appointment challenge aims to stimulate the use of simple, information technology-enabled processes and tools to make transitions easier and safer for patients, caregivers and providers – particularly when a patient is discharged from a hospital.
The scheduling of follow-up appointments and post-discharge testing before leaving the hospital helps ensure safer and more effective transitions. Unfortunately, most patients across the country continue to leave the hospital without confirmed appointments and many providers remain frustrated by a highly manual and unreliable system. The Discharge Follow-Up Appointment challenge will focus on promoting effective care transitions.
[See also: Grants target transition from hospital to home.]
“This challenge is an enormous opportunity for software developers to develop solutions, and pursue models that can be adopted across a community,” said Farzad Mostashari, MD, national coordinator for health information technology. “Scheduling post-discharge follow-up appointments is critical, but not easy for patients or providers and we’re excited by the possibilities that will stem from this challenge.”