The Center for Health Information and Decision Systems (CHIDS) at the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business has helped create a new resource to improve the quality and safety of healthcare for children.
Funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Agency for Healthcare Research and the Quality and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the new electronic health record (EHR) format for children includes a set of requirements and data standards that can be used as a blueprint for EHR developers seeking to create a product that meets the needs of those who provide healthcare to children.
The functional requirements include detailed descriptions of data elements, functions and specifications, such as for vaccines and medication management, required of an EHR system to support recording, processing, decision support, and reporting upon pediatric patient encounters. It is expected that EHR vendors will include these features in their system in order to be better equipped to take care of children.
As a subcontractor to Rockville-based research firm Westat, the CHIDS team helped develop several topic areas, participated in prototyping of the format and analyzed format conformance issues.
"The EHR market has developed products largely targeted at adults, with limited attention to the unique needs of children,” said Dr. Ritu Agarwal, CHIDS director and professor of information systems at the Smith School. “The model format is an important step in serving this critical set of patients.”
“The goal is to disseminate the model format broadly so that it will be adopted by EHR vendors and easily integrated into their products. Pediatricians and other child health stakeholders can use the model format to advocate for improved pediatric specific functionality within their EHR systems.”