A laptop with a virtual healthcare appointment on screen

Technology and Health

Modernizing the health care system includes adoption and expansion of emerging technology. This includes:

  • Use of electronic medical record technology to provide better health care
  • Centralized referral systems that address social needs
  • Expansion of telehealth to reach more people

Telehealth can be used to address barriers to health care. These include transportation, provider capacity and access to specialty care. Telehealth has proven to be a crucial tool in the response to COVID-19.

Our approach:

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    Definition

    Telehealth means using information and communication technologies to provide health care services. One example is video calls.

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    Why This Matters

    Telehealth can be used to address barriers to health care. These include transportation, provider capacity and access to specialty care. Telehealth has proven to be a crucial tool in the response to COVID-19.

    To expand the use of telehealth, we need ongoing improvements in infrastructure and payment for services.

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    Definition

    An electronic health record is a software platform where a person’s medical information is stored.

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    Why This Matters

    Much like increased use of checklists in medical care have improved health outcomes for surgery in hospitals, electronic health record reminders can be set up to prompt providers. These reminders can help prompt them to ask questions or order tests to prevent illness. For example, a reminder could be set up to ask a patient about tobacco use or exercise habits.

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    Definition

    An electronic health record is a software platform where a person’s medical information is stored.

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    Why This Matters

    Most health care providers use electronic health record systems. But it can be difficult for different providers to share data about a person’s care.  For instance, if a person has an emergency and they go to the hospital, the hospital may face barriers gaining access to information recorded by their doctor.

    This strategy aims to assess and reduce barriers so providers have the information they need to treat a patient.

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    Definition

    A community information exchange is a centralized referral and information system.

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    Why This Matters

    Right now there is no comprehensive web-based tool for health care and social service providers to share referrals and connect people to services more quickly. Also, once a referral is made, it is a challenge to follow-up with the client who received the referral to make sure that they received the needed service. A centralized referral system would allow providers to better serve people in their area and track referrals they make. An effort is underway in Oregon to fill this need.