Health IT Trends
CDC app addresses concussion
awareness, helmet safety
from the AAP Division of Quality
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
has created an app to educate athletes, high school coaches,
parents and school health care professionals on how to spot
and what to do if they suspect a child has a concussion or
other serious brain injury.
Called Heads Up: Concussion and Helmet Safety, the
app has a “dictionary” of serious brain injuries to assist
users in detecting warning signs and learning about the
manifestations of specific injuries. Additionally, it includes
a 3D helmet fit feature that teaches users about proper
helmet fit, safety and care.
The app is free and is available on the App Store and
Google Play. The App Store version, available at http://
apple.co/2tKchfM, is compatible with iPhone, iPad and
iPod touch and requires iOS 6.0 or later. The Google Play
version, available at http://bit.ly/2v59yRQ, is compatible
with devices running Android 4.0.3 and up.
If you would like to share a first-hand experience using technology, such as software, program, app, widget,
etc., to improve patient care or practice management, email submissions of 250 words or less to Lisa Krams
The 21st Century Cures Act, signed into law by
President Barack Obama on Dec. 13, 2016, includes
several provisions related to the development, implementation and use of health information technology
(IT) in medical care.
Some of the priorities outlined in the legislation
include a focus on interoperability, patient-centered
health IT, patient safety and information security,
and measures to support health care providers using
The law also recognizes that children are a special
population with unique health care needs, including
their needs related to health IT.
The law directs the secretary of the
U.S. Department of Health and
Human Services (HHS) to recom-
mend and adopt voluntary certifi-
cation criteria for health IT used
to support the care of children.
“Certification of electronic
health records (EHRs) in pediatrics will result in saf-
er, higher quality care for children and better work-
flow for pediatricians,” said Christoph U. Lehmann,
M.D., FACMI, FAAP, medical director of the AAP
Child Health Informatics Center (CHIC).
The Academy, under the CHIC’s leadership, is
working with the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology to identify
priority criteria for pediatric certification of EHRs.
Broadly, the act prioritizes health IT systems and
requirements that increase effectiveness for health
care providers in several ways, including:
• reducing documentation burden on health care
providers while maintaining quality;
• establishing a grant program to create an un-
biased reporting system to engage stakeholders
and gather information about EHR usability,
interoperability and security to help providers
choose better EHR products; and
• easing reporting requirements that have a nega-
tive effect on provider engagement in continu-
ing medical education activities.
Interoperability has been an ongoing challenge for
pediatricians, particularly for small practices seeking
to share or exchange information with larger systems.
The 21st Century Cures Act addresses challenges
in interoperability by calling for the development
of a framework to facilitate information exchange
between EHRs; allowing penalties for information
blocking; and encouraging bi-directional communi-
cation between EHR systems and registries.
Many pediatricians have stories about times
when health IT did not work for their patients.
The law supports certification and development
of patient-centered EHRs so that patients have
better access to their secure and up-to-date health
information. It also requires the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to review patient access
to health information, including barriers to access,
complications health care providers experience when
providing access and methods patients use to request
their personal health information.
Patient safety and information security present
continuous challenges in health IT. The act seeks to
address these issues by:
• adding developers of HIT to patient safety or-
ganizations to help improve the safety of HIT
products for patients;
• encouraging the use of health information exchanges to promote patient access by educating
providers on allowable sharing of patient health
• requiring HHS to educate health care providers
on allowable uses and sharing of patient health
information and clarify misunderstandings that
may be impeding lawful information sharing;
• requiring the GAO to study methods for se-
curely matching patient records to the correct
Federal law impacts health information technology in pediatric care
from the AAP Division of Quality and Department of Federal Affairs
Why you should be
Pediatricians are paying closer attention
to antibiotic use to avoid overprescribing,
but requests for unnecessary prescriptions to
treat viral infections remain common.
An updated patient report from the AAP
Choosing Wisely campaign outlines the reasons why antibiotics may not be necessary
and encourages parents to use the information when they discuss their child’s illness
with their pediatrician.
The handout is available in English and
Spanish and can be shared and posted during
cold and flu season, http://bit.ly/2uk5by4.
The Academy is one of many medical
organizations that participates in Choosing
Wisely. The program promotes conversations between physicians and patients about
choosing care that is evidence-backed, free
from harm, not duplicated and truly necessary. It was developed by the ABIM Foundation in cooperation with Consumer Reports.