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Care Coordination Key for Interoperability, Patient Care

The Rhode Island Quality Institute and Integra Community Care Network launch a collaborative care coordination platform for increased interoperability.

Care coordination promotes interoperability

Source: Thinkstock

By Elizabeth O'Dowd

- The Rhode Island Quality Institute (RIQI) and Integra Community Care Network announced their new service Care Management Alerts and Dashboards. The health IT infrastructure care coordination technology aims to proactively coordinate care to support 140,000 patients and promote interoperability.

The technology platform uses near real-time data about patients who are admitted and subsequently discharged from acute care hospitals or emergency rooms across Rhode Island.

Through the dashboards, clinicians at Care New England, South County Health, Rhode Island Primary Care Physicians Corporation (RIPCPC) and staff at Integra have fast data access that will improve coordinated care and effectively cut down on misdiagnoses and unnecessary readmissions.

“These services help providers stay connected with others delivering care to their patients in a timely way that prevents patients from falling through the cracks when seen in different care settings in the state,” RIQI President and CEO Laura Adams said in a statement. “With this information delivered directly to them, Integra’s care teams have the ability to prevent avoidable hospital and emergency department readmissions that often results when care is poorly coordinated.”

Patients who needed to visit the emergency room and are following up with their primary care doctor will not have to relay all of their urgent care details. Clinicians will know every detail of the patient’s medical history, which reduces the risk of misdiagnose and return visits.

“For a practicing primary care physician, there is nothing more important than knowing where your patient is at any point in time and what problem needs to be addressed,” RIPCPC President and CEO Al Puerini, MD said in a statement.

“Now, a Primary Care Provider can open this dashboard and instantly know when any of his/her patients are in an Emergency Department or admitted to the hospital,” Puerini continued. “The dashboard includes their diagnosis and exact location. This permits us to be more directly involved in their care allowing instant communication in real time with providers, patients and patients’ families.”

Some of the benefits of accessing patient information easier include:

  • Care teams can reach out to the hospital, emergency departments, and/or patient to provide information from the practice and facilitate coordination of care during and immediately after an admission
  • Follow-up visits can be scheduled sooner
  • Readmissions can be prevented through discussion of the care plan and review of medications
  • Education can be provided to the patient about when to call the office first

“Having Alerts and access to records from other facilities enhances our ability to manage care for our patients,” Integra Community Care Network Director of Care Management Ruth Scott said in a statement. “It can also help with medication management as well as lab and radiology results, particularly when there are multiple providers and locations.”

“I can’t say enough about the importance of being able to track patients as they transition through the continuum of care.”

Clinicians can provide the best care when they have a patient’s full medical history. Real-time data ensures that records are updated as the changes are made.

Care coordination is growing as more healthcare organizations are adding the solutions to their health IT infrastructures.

Earlier this week, PatientPing and WellStar Health System made a similar announcement, bringing coordinated care to all of WellStar’s locations throughout Georgia.

Coordinated care also promotes interoperability between healthcare systems and leaves room for better data entry, improving collaboration between specialists, emergency clinicians, and primary care doctors.

PatientPing hopes to increase medical information transparency among healthcare organizations to improve patient care. The company’s care coordination technology sends real-time notifications whenever a patient receives care in any of WellStar’s facilities.

PatientPing is currently working to connect healthcare organizations state wide with coordinated care. States participating in the coordinated care network are Massachusetts, Connecticut, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Vermont, and New Hampshire.

Healthcare organizations growing in size and increasing locations are finding it more and more important to implement a solution that will allow all locations to seamlessly share patient data.

As internal care coordination and networks grow, organizations are also realizing the benefits of exchanging data with other healthcare organizations, making care network solutions valuable to future health data exchange.