Behavioral Health Roundtable: Using Information Technology to Integrate Behavioral Health and Primary Care – Office of the National Coordinator for Information Technology – September 2012

Posted on September 27, 2012. Filed under: Chronic Disease Mgmt, Health Informatics, Mental Health Psychi Psychol, Primary Hlth Care | Tags: |

Behavioral Health Roundtable: Using Information Technology to Integrate Behavioral Health and Primary Care – Office of the National Coordinator for Information Technology – September 2012

Extract from the introduction:

“The burden of behavioral health conditions (including mental illness and substance use disorders) in the United States remains great. Consider the prevalence and treatment of mental illness. By 2009, almost 20 percent of adults in the United States had suffered from a mental health condition at some point in their lives. Mental illness is a source of significant comorbidity in the chronically ill, particularly for patients with diabetes or cardiovascular disease. Diabetes patients, for instance, are twice as likely to suffer from depression as the general population. Mental illness is also associated with higher rates of substance abuse. In 2010, approximately 23 million people ages 12-64 reported symptoms of substance use disorders, while only 11 percent received treatment at a specialty facility. Moreover, a substantial volume of behavioral health care is delivered in primary care settings. General and internal medicine physicians cared for 34 percent of patients with a primary mental health diagnosis in 2008 alone. Given the burden of illness and the volume of behavioral health care delivered in primary care settings, better integration between behavioral health and primary care is needed.

Health information technology (health IT), including electronic health records (EHRs), personal health records (PHRs), health information exchange (HIE), mobile health, and other technologies that support health and wellness are key enablers of this integration. However, behavioral health clinicians currently have limited adoption of interoperable information systems. In a recent study, just over 20 percent of 505 behavioral health organizations surveyed indicated that they had fully adopted an EHR. Behavioral health organizations cited as barriers to EHR adoption concerns over initial productivity losses, lack of qualified IT and project management staff, provider resistance, and privacy laws.”

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