Army Overwhelmed by Paper Behavioral Health Records

Army Can’t Track Mental Health Records of Deployed Soldiers

This is causing crucial delays in much-needed medical treatment for our returning soldiers because the military mental health providers are not using the EHR system and the application to scan the paper records is reportedly not ready for prime time.  Coincidentally, the The Behavioral Health Information Technology Act of 2011 to extend meaningful use stimulus dollars to mental/behavioral health care providers was recently introduced (see https://bloghci.wordpress.com/2011/03/28/bill-to-extend-mu-incentives-to-behavioral-healthcare-providers-healthcare-it-news/).

According to reports, 20 percent to 30 percent of troops who have served combat tours in Afghanistan and Iraq suffer from mental health problems, but an investigation shows the Army currently has no way to consistently track the mental health status of soldiers deployed to the two countries.  The service finds itself overwhelmed by paper behavioral health records because mental health providers who treat these soldiers are not entering data into the theater electronic health record known as AHLTA-T.  Nor does the Army have a system to scan and code these paper records to support search and retrieval from the Defense Department’s electronic heath record.  As a result, soldiers returning from deployment are experiencing delays with continued health care and/or filing medical claims to the Department of Veterans Affairs.  To read this entire article, please go to: http://www.nextgov.com/nextgov/ng_20110303_5243.php?oref=topstory <http://www.mmsend57.com/link.cfm?r=139996760&sid=12724238&m=1269478&u=AUSA&s=http://www.nextgov.com/nextgov/ng_20110303_5243.php?oref=topstory> #

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About Julie

My credentials include a Master's Certificate in Health Informatics, a CHPSE certification (Certified HIPAA Privacy and Security Expert), and certification in HL7 (Health Level 7). The multidisciplinary approach to equipping myself to enter the healthcare IT sector is consistent with my professional background in sales, management, healthcare, and recruiting. I also have a BA in Organizational Psychology from the University of Michigan, which as been invaluable in my professional life for exceling in sales, change management, and laying down an excellent foundation from which I was able to build effective communication skills with professionals of all levels.

Posted on March 29, 2011, in EMR/EHR, News and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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