NHIT with the support of the Office of Minority Health (OMH), a division of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), has launched a pilot program called HI-Touch. This program specifically addresses the numerous challenges safety net providers encounter when adopting electronic health records. So far, NHIT is working with three Regional Extension Centers (RECs) to implement this program and to support them in their initiatives. With the success of this pilot, NHIT anticipates that HI-Touch will be expanded and launched across the country.
Our mission is to ensure the attention and efforts are kept on the most vulnerable communities during this unprecedented transformation in our health care system.
HI-Touch is a comprehensive education and outreach strategy that has a four pronged approach: community scan; partnership; reach and inform; engagement. The foundation of this piloted program is a custom-designed campaign that will employ a personal and direct field advocacy approach. First, the provider’s needs will be assessed to determine where he/she is in the adoption process and then, develop a plan to take the provider from where he/she is in the process to becoming a meaningful user of health IT.
The three RECs collaborating with NHIT are in three distinct areas of the country and serve diverse communities. To better understand the challenges of the safety net providers in each area, NHIT conducted environmental scans. This process includes attending health disparities and health IT related conferences, conducting interviews with key stakeholders, clinic and medical practice site visits, assessing the region’s medical delivery model, analyzing and extrapolating population level demographics and health data, and holding provider teach-ins.