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

Wednesday, July 16,  2014

Megan Moriarty
Public Relations Strategist
American Academy of Family Physicians
(800) 274-2237 Ext. 6052

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 American Academy of Family Physicians represents 134,600 physicians and medical students nationwide, and it is the only medical society devoted solely to primary care.

Family physicians conduct approximately one in five of the total medical office visits in the United States per year – more than any other specialty. Family physicians provide comprehensive, evidence-based, and cost-effective care dedicated to improving the health of patients, families and communities. Family medicine’s cornerstone is an ongoing and personal patient-physician relationship where the family physician serves as the hub of each patient’s integrated care team. More Americans depend on family physicians than on any other medical specialty.

To learn more about the AAFP and family medicine, visit www.aafp.org/media. Follow us on Twitter,(twitter.com) and like us on Facebook. For information about health care, health conditions and wellness, visit the AAFP’s award-winning consumer website, www.familydoctor.org(familydoctor.org).