Back to Browse Journals » Substance Abuse and Rehabilitation » Volume 2 » Issue 1

Improving drug abuse treatment delivery through adoption of harmonized electronic health record systems

Authors Ghitza UE, Sparenborg S, Tai B

Published Date July 2011 Volume 2011:2(1) Pages 125—131

DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.2147/SAR.S23030

Published 18 July 2011

Udi E Ghitza, Steven Sparenborg, Betty Tai
Center for the Clinical Trials Network, National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health, United States Department of Health and Human Services, Bethesda, MD, USA

Abstract: A great divide currently exists between mainstream health care and specialty substance use disorders (SUD) treatment, concerning the coordination of care and sharing of medical information. Improving the coordination of SUD treatment with other disciplines of medicine will benefit SUD patients. The development and use of harmonized electronic health record systems (EHR) containing standardized person-level information will enable improved coordination of healthcare services. We attempt here to illuminate the urgent public health need to develop and implement at the national level harmonized EHR including data fields containing standardized vocabulary/terminologies relevant to SUD treatment. The many advantages and barriers to harmonized EHR implementation in SUD treatment service groups, and pathways to their successful implementation, are also discussed. As the US Federal Government incentivizes Medicare and Medicaid Service providers nationwide for “meaningful use” of health information technology (HIT) systems, relevant stakeholders may face relatively large and time-consuming processes to conform their local practices to meet the federal government’s “meaningful use” criteria unless they proactively implement data standards and elements consistent with those criteria. Incorporating consensus-based common data elements and standards relevant to SUD screening, diagnosis, and treatment into the federal government’s “meaningful use” criteria is an essential first step to develop necessary infrastructure for effective coordination of HIT systems among SUD treatment and other healthcare service providers to promote collaborative-care implementation of cost-effective, evidence-based treatments and to support program evaluations.

Keywords: electronic health records, substance use disorders treatment, addiction, dependence, research, Clinical Trials Network

Download Article [PDF] View Full Text [HTML] 

Creative Commons License This work is published by Dove Medical Press Limited, and licensed under Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. The full terms of the License are available at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. Permissions beyond the scope of the License are administered by Dove Medical Press Limited. Information on how to request permission may be found at: http://www.dovepress.com/permissions.php

Other article by this author:

Readers of this article also read:

Suicidal and self-injurious behavior among patients with alcohol and drug abuse

Al-Sharqi AM, Sherra KS, Al-Habeeb AA, Qureshi NA

Substance Abuse and Rehabilitation 2012, 3:91-99

Published Date: 24 July 2012

Addiction treatment trials: how gender, race/ethnicity, and age relate to ongoing participation and retention in clinical trials

Korte JE, Rosa CL, Wakim PG, Perl HI

Substance Abuse and Rehabilitation 2011, 2:205-218

Published Date: 22 November 2011

Patterns and correlates of illicit drug selling among youth in the USA

Vaughn MG, Shook JJ, Perron BE, Abdon A, Ahmedani B

Substance Abuse and Rehabilitation 2011, 2:103-111

Published Date: 27 May 2011