Planned Parenthood already using health information technology locally

PLANNED PARENTHOOD NEWS RELEASE

Health information technology (HIT), the ability to keep patient records digitally rather than through paper charts, could reduce health care costs by $80 billion a year, according to a new study released by the Guttmacher Institute.

A part of the Obama administration’s Affordable Care Act, HIT gives health care providers the ability to request lab tests, track inventory supply, conduct third-party billing and order prescriptions without a physical paper trail. The new technology of electronic health records (EHR) reduces mistakes, duplicative tests and time spent with paperwork.

Most family planning providers are prepared to implement HIT in the future; however, Planned Parenthood already utilizes the new technology. Two-thirds of Planned Parenthood affiliates currently use HIT, including its Reno facility. In the study, government health  departments only reported half of their facilities using the technology. In addition, Planned Parenthood offers twice the amount of online access to scheduling appointments for clients compared to all other family planning providers, government or private.

“Using current technology goes hand-in-hand with providing top of the line health services,” Rikki Hensley-Ricker, center manager for Reno and Carson City Health Centers, said. “Planned Parenthood is committed and actively engaged in growing our use of health information technology because research shows that HIT has the potential to improve patient outcomes and cut health care costs.”

The Guttmacher Institute calculated information from responses of 462 family planning providers. One hundred percent of Planned Parenthood affiliates were sampled and 82 percent responded, providing the highest response rate of all groups sampled for the study. The purpose of the study was to see where family planning providers stand on the implementation of HIT.

Planned Parenthood Mar Monte improves the lives of more than 250,000 women, men and children annually in 29 counties throughout mid-California and 13 counties in Northern Nevada. We reach people through our medical services, education programs and advocacy initiatives.

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