The use of digital health data and advanced digital tools and algorithms to support healthcare delivery are more common than ever before. For many years, we primarily focused on the transition from paper medical records to electronic health records (EHRs) and facilitating the exchange of these data between healthcare settings and individual EHR systems. The implementation of EHRs was the first step towards a paradigm shift in the modern healthcare system that acknowledges the endless opportunities presented to those who can leverage digital healthcare information to enhance and inform care delivery.
Today, stakeholders, including the ACS, are exploring ways to safely utilize digital patient health information for the optimization of longitudinal tracking of patient outcomes for quality improvement, patient engagement, to inform clinical decisions, coordinate care, conduct clinical research, and much more. The ACS continues to engage in digital health issues with federal agencies and the commercial sector with hopes of using our clinical expertise to shape digital health offerings for surgeons.
The ACS has created resources to help surgeons navigate and integrate virtual services into their practices and enhance their ability to safely care for patients during the COVID-19 pandemic.