As the ACR’s initiatives evolve, there are places where we can play a leadership role. One area is linking practices’ electronic health records (EHRs) to the RCR. EHR data transmission to registries has not yet become a reality for most specialties. Due largely to the recent work of the ACR Health Information Technology (HIT) Subcommittee, the ACR is well positioned to test the first of these linkages in a meaningful and cost-effective way in the 2011 fiscal year.
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Explore This IssueJune 2010
Finally, continued commitment to and uptake of the RCR will help position the ACR as the leader in defining high-quality rheumatology care. These efforts will prove to payers that the profession is engaging in meaningful self-assessment improvement. They will help the ACR demonstrate that new administrative hassles and externally developed reporting programs are inefficient and unnecessary.
It feels good to be a good doctor and better to be a better doctor.1
Donald Berwick, MD
The ACR’s Infrastructure
To ensure adequate leadership of these expanding initiatives, the ACR Board of Directors recently convened a new standing committee, the Committee on Registries and Health Information Technology (RHIT). RHIT will assume responsibility for the efforts of the Registry Task Force and the HIT Subcommittee, working in careful collaboration with the Committee on Quality of Care (QOC) and other standing committees.
The ACR also has invested in staff to support these efforts. I was honored to join the ACR early this year to lead the new Registry, Quality, and Healthcare Informatics Department. Itara Barnes, who has been working for the ACR since 2007 in the Socioeconomic Affairs Department, moved to the new department to focus full time on HIT and the RCR. Amy Miller and Regina Parker round out the Registry, Quality, and Healthcare Informatics Department, focusing on the tightly interrelated work of the QOC, including guideline, criteria, and quality measures development.
Finally, the ACR leadership and staff are exploring grant funding to support and expand the RCR, especially related to use for observational research. The RCR could provide ACR members in diverse practice settings the ability to contribute real-world data to help answer tough clinical questions and test clinically meaningful research hypotheses. The RCR also could be virtually linked to other existing registries in the U.S., as was proposed in the ACR’s recently submitted grant application to the Agency on Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).