What is the purpose of the Policy Brief? Writing a policy brief for this assignment requires you to conduct an in-depth analysis of a specific policy related to health information technologies, for a specific policy actor, from the perspective of a particular stakeholder (group). By writing a policy brief you will develop knowledge about the specific policy area and the type(s) of technology involved, review research related to this policy/technology, and consider the point of view of one stakeholder. You will also gain experience in summarizing the policy area, evaluating research evidence, and communicating key issues that are important to a particular stakeholder. You will learn to make a persuasive case for a particular policy position or action. Whether you become a hospital administrator, a public health official, a technology consultant, a system administrator, a data analyst, a policy advocate, or a policy maker, you will need to understand policies related to health technologies. Such an understanding will assist the implementation of policies and technologies, communication to various groups (C-suite, front-line workforce) within health provider organizations, consideration of trade-offs that may be possible for compliance, and/or advocacy for necessary resources. Writing a Policy Brief Choose a policy topic related to heath information technology that you would like to explore more in-depth. It can be something related to one of the topics we cover in the course or something else, including any of the following: a specific government regulation, such as the Cure’s Act Interoperability rule a policy initiative, such as value-based payments a broad policy area, such as safety or effectiveness of clinical decision support tools a specific health information technology, such as Artificial Intelligence in a particular medical domain The policy brief should be focused to a specific stakeholder audience: government policy makers (e.g., ONC or CMS) health insurers (e.g., Medicare, private insurers in general or a specific one like United Health or Kaiser) health care providers (e.g., physicians, medical specialty organizations, hospitals) the public The policy brief should be from the point of view of a particular stakeholder: Patients (in general, a specific disease group, or other group) Physicians (in general, or a specific medical specialty or advocacy group) Hospitals (in general, e.g., AHA, or a specific system or organization) Public Payers (CMS or a state Medicaid program) Private Payers (in general, or a specific one) Technology producers (device manufacturers, trade groups, specific companies) To write your policy brief, follow the directions (follow parts 1 and 2, up through page 9) As described in the directions, the paper should be 4-5 pages (the directions say maximum of 4 pages, but I will allow the papers to be 4-5 pages). You should use and cite a minimum of 5 articles related to research on your policy topic. Use a Works Cited page to list your references. Follow a consistent citation method, either APA or AMA are most common. . Rubric for evaluation of the Policy Brief Title and Executive Summary = 5 points Clear, even catchy, title related to the issue being addressed (clearness is more important than cleverness, but you might be able to come up with an attention-getting Title) Executive summary is clear and informative, describing key points that will be made in the memo and concisely putting the research into the broader context Introduction = 5 points Clearly explains the policy issue and/or technology challenge Puts the issue in the relevant context overall, and for the stakeholders Avoids discussion of issues that may be related to the issue or challenge (as you know many issues are interrelated) but are not directly relevant to the stakeholders or the current issue/challenge Methods and Results = 8 points Clearly describe research evidence that supports the policy position/recommendations of the memo The best memos will include research evidence that is highly relevant to the primary issue/challenge and the stakeholders This step likely means that you will need to read carefully through many more research articles than you ultimately use in your memo. This requires giving yourself enough time to identify and read research literature related to your topic. Be sure to recognize the difference between evidence and hype, that is, claims about the effects or benefits of a particular technology that are not substantiated by actual evidence. Avoid hype! Though if there is a lot of hype on your topic, you might acknowledge that certain groups expect to see certain benefits but note whether or not they are substantiated by evidence. Policy Recommendations = 5 points Makes 1-3 feasible policy recommendations If more than one recommendation, they are clearly differentiated Recommendation(s) is (are) clear and specific and related to the gap described in the Introduction Conclusion = 2 Conclusion reinforces the message/take away from the memo Overall Writing style and quality = 5 points Overall memo is well-written: clear, well organized, grammatically correct, clearly cited
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