Urban Indian Technology

The National Council of Urban Indian Health is aware that technological tools cut across all Urban Indian Health Programs (UIHP) operational areas—from clinical and medical technology and tele-medicine to accounting, payment system processes, marketing and outreach. Since its foundation, NCUIH has fostered and participated in national initiatives involving technology as a medium to improve both the sustainability of the UIHPs as well as the wellbeing of the population they serve. Likewise NCUIH strives to ensure of the technology available to collect the most accurate data from its programs.

Recent ProjectsPayment System Reform
Funded through the Indian Health Service. This initiative aims at increasing UIHPs revenue through training on third-party billing and reimbursements. Activities include -10-CM, GPRA, PPS Review, A/R Management implementation through conference calls and WebEx sessions. For more on this initiative, click here to visit our Payment System Reform page at NCUIH’s main site.

Data Reporting and Standards
The NCUIH Board of Directors created a standing Data Standards Committee, comprised of Board Members, Data specialist and NCUIH staff. This initiative aims at developing a Baseline Data Survey to determine an accurate accounting of UIHP services using Indian Health Service funds. In addition to a standing weekly meeting, the Committee surveyed NCUIH membership in March. A preliminary report was prepared and preliminary results were presented to membership at the NCUIH Annual Conference in May. For more on this initiative, click here or contact Dr. Kimberly Fowler, Technical Assistance and Research Director at kfowler@ncuih.org

2015 Marketing and Outreach Assessment
NCUIH carried out a National Marketing and Outreach Capabilities Assessment, including information on the technological platforms used by the NCUIH Members to communicate and conduct outreach locally, as well as nationally. In addition to a preliminary online assessment, this project included a general survey and results analysis. The Survey was responded by approximately by 80% of the Urban Indian Health programs. Among results stemming from this project, we find that half of the respondents indicated that less than 75% of their patients have reliable internet access. The #1 ranked online platform for outreach is Facebook (listed by over 60% of respondents). Dull report on the Assessment will be available soon.

2010 Health Information Technology Survey
In 2010, NCUIH surveyed its Membership on Health information-technology-specific issues. The survey was responded by approximately 60% of the UIHPs and shows that the basics for e-readiness are indeed in place. For instance, 100 % of the Urban Indian Health Programs reported having access to Internet in their facilities (and their own server); of those, over 90 % have broadband connection. The same survey shows that an average of 95 % of the personnel uses internet at work. UIHP leaders estimate that nearly sixty percent of their served community has access to Internet and Email (59% and 57%, respectively). For the full report click here

What exactly is Health Information Technology?
In plain English, it is the use of electronic means to carry out an operation related to a health care or to a medical management task*. HITs therefore, range from purely administrative operations, to task-specific tools for management systems; to highly specialized, patient-customized solutions.

How HITs are tools for Sustainable development in my organization?
HITs can foster sustainable development in three main ways:

  • Freeing up Resources: although the initial investment can be expensive funding and training wise, Information technologies have proven  to lower  fixed  costs through significantly faster operations and  increased efficiency. These resources can be used for improving or expanding services.
  • Knowledge Transfer and Foundation: once the technology has been ingrained in the health facility, it creates a technological foundation that can be used by managers to find customized solutions according to the challenges they are facing- which can expand capabilities without much investment.
  • Standardized Systems: the technology to be provided through this government initiative would be standard for all facilities, which reduces costs as well as it eases both management and IT personnel recruitment.

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