AAFP’s Center for Health Information Technology Focuses Beyond EHR Adoption

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE   
Wednesday, July 16,  2014

Contact:
Megan Moriarty
Public Relations Strategist
American Academy of Family Physicians
(800) 274-2237 Ext. 5223
mmoriarty@aafp.org

LEAWOOD, Kan. — The American Academy of Family Physicians’ Center for Health Information Technology is refocusing its efforts on supporting optimization of electronic health record technology use.

Now that health IT adoption has reached a critical mass, the Center will shift its primary focus toward how to use technology to achieve efficiency and efficacy through workflow, clinical processes and data.

“The initial establishment of the Center signaled the importance of the need to move from paper-based to computerized information systems in the family physicians office,” said Douglas E. Henley, M.D., AAFP executive vice president. “We’ve seen real progress with adoption of EHR technology — in 2014, 80 percent of our members are using an EHR. Now it’s time to focus more heavily on optimal use of that technology.”

As part of this refocusing, the Center for Health Information Technology will undergo a name change and will now be called the Alliance for eHealth Innovation.

“This new name will reflect our mission to move beyond the EHR and towards the automation of care delivery,” said Steven Waldren, M.D., director of the AAFP’s Center for Health Information Technology, who will continue in his director role with the Alliance. “This new direction focuses more broadly on eHealth.”

Based at the AAFP’s headquarters in Leawood, Kan., the Alliance will represent a cooperative effort to align with innovative AAFP member physicians and industry leaders to improve workflows and address gaps in needed functionality for members. The organization will focus on four areas:

  • Discovery — Identifying best practices among members who have found high job satisfaction and high care quality.
  • Deployment — Sharing those best practices throughout AAFP membership and the primary care community.
  • Development — Working with industry partners to fill gaps in current information technology products and developing new innovative offerings.
  • Data — Provide analytics to demonstrate and improve the quality and cost-effectiveness of Family Medicine.

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Founded in 1947, the AAFP represents 115,900 physicians and medical students nationwide. It is the only medical society devoted solely to primary care.

Approximately one in four of all office visits are made to family physicians. That is nearly 214 million office visits each year — nearly 74 million more than the next largest medical specialty. Today, family physicians provide more care for America’s underserved and rural populations than any other medical specialty. Family medicine’s cornerstone is an ongoing, personal patient-physician relationship focused on integrated care.


To learn more about the specialty of family medicine, the AAFP's positions on issues and clinical care, and for downloadable multi-media highlighting family medicine, visit www.aafp.org/media. For information about health care, health conditions and wellness, please visit the AAFP’s award-winning consumer website, www.FamilyDoctor.org(www.familydoctor.org).