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How CCBHCs Should Use Health Information Technology

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Learn how CCBHCs should use health information technology (HIT) to coordinate services and track data on quality measures.

Certified community behavioral health clinics (CCBHCs) should establish or maintain a health information technology (HIT) system to support health improvement activities, such as population health management, quality improvement, reduction of disparities, research, and outreach. The HIT system should also support required reporting on data and quality measures.

There is a nationwide effort to implement HIT and exchange electronic health information across a broad range of health care settings. Mental and behavioral health professionals are a part of this effort, which aims to establish effective shared communication across the care continuum.

The principal federal agency that coordinates HIT efforts is the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), part of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

ONC is responsible for the Health IT Certification Program. This program certifies HIT products to ensure that:

  • HIT systems meet the standards and certification adopted by the HHS secretary
  • Behavioral health providers benefit from systems that use the same standards and criteria as providers in other settings. This is an important component of interoperable health information exchange, which can lead to more effective patient care.
  • Providers can more easily determine whether a product can support health information exchange, capture important data relevant to care, and meet key privacy and security requirements

ONC Certification Requirements

Organizations establishing a HIT system must use a system that meets ONC’s criteria for the Health IT Certification Program (45 CFR §170.314(a)(14)).

Certified products can be found through the ONC Certified Health IT Product List (CHPL).

Requirements From the Criteria

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has developed criteria for CCBHC certification. Access the complete CCBHC certification criteria – 2016 (PDF | 755 KB).

The CCBHC certification criteria include the following requirements related to HIT:

  • 3. CCBHCs must establish or, if already in place, maintain a HIT system that meets certain requirements and can be used for certain purposes
  • 3.B. To participate in SAMHSA’s Demonstration, all CCBHCs are required to use an existing or newly established HIT system to support health improvement activities (population health management, quality improvement, reduction of disparities, research, and outreach)
  • 5 and Appendix A. CCBHCs are also encouraged to use the HIT system to support required reporting on data collected and on quality measures
  • 3.b.1. and 3.b.3. The product must be certified to meet the following requirements:
    • Be capable of capturing structured information in consumer records, including demographic information, diagnoses, and medication lists
    • Provide clinical decision support
    • Electronically transmit prescriptions to the pharmacy
    • Send and receive the full common data set for all summary-of-care records
    • Be certified to support capabilities including transitions of care and privacy and security

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