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PatientPing, WellStar Collaborate on Care Coordination

PatientPing expands its care coordination to improve interoperability among WellStars Georgia locations.

PatientPing's care coordination increases interoperability

Source: Thinkstock

By Elizabeth O'Dowd

- PatientPing announced its partnership with Georgia-based WellStar Health System to provide care coordination to one of the largest health systems in Georgia.

The collaboration aims to increase communication among WellStar’s 11 hospitals, eight urgent care centers, three nursing facilities, and three inpatient hospices.

“In today's healthcare environment, it is important for physicians, advance practice professionals and multidisciplinary care teams to deliver innovative, high-quality care in both the hospital and outpatient setting,” WellStar Assistant Vice President of Population Management Kam Sooknanan said in a statement. “We will be giving our providers real-time access to data that can better create a coordinated approach to each patient's care."

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.

This gives providers the most up-to-date information on all its patients so clinicians can give more accurate diagnoses based on the most current data.

The notifications contain information including care program affiliation, contact information for the patient's care team, and patient visit histories.

Clinicians also have the option of leaving notes for future care-givers, along with contact information so the clinicians can better discuss and understand the patient’s conditions. The easy contact allows organizations to diagnose medical issues quickly and avoid unnecessary readmissions resulting in better patient care.

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.

Any healthcare organization in a state with PatientPing already deployed in one or more network can join up and start sharing its data as well.

Earlier this year, PatientPing also announced its partnership with Hackensack Meridian Health in New Jersey, bringing New Jersey into its data sharing network.

Healthcare organizations have been seeking interoperability and coordinated care for the benefit of clinicians and patients alike. Interoperability for patient EHRs, patient-centralized outcomes, team-based care, and care coordination are areas of health IT infrastructure of which many organizations struggle.

Accountable care organizations (ACOs) require providers to work together in team-based care environments to improve patient health across multiple care facilities, including primary care, emergency care, and specialists. ACO clinicians in different locations can only effectively coordinate if their networks can quickly and securely work together.

The healthcare industry is pushing stronger strategies for care coordination and interoperability, beginning with implementing the right health IT interoperability solutions.

PatientPing’s strategy for interoperability is creating a separate network for healthcare organizations looking to exchange patient data among unaffiliated organizations.

Organizations such as the Argonaut Project are trying to create a universal API to allow easy and compatible interoperability between healthcare organizations that do not share the same network infrastructure.

The Argonaut Project is one of the organizations working to develop a FHIR-based API and Core Data Services to expand the sharing of electronic health information. The goal of the Argonaut Project is to “enable interested vendors and providers to develop and implement a focused but complete FHIR API specification, and accompanying security implementation.”

The Argonaut project, along with several other similar projects are currently working to create a standard API to help solve the interoperability issue.

Healthcare organizations are still struggling with interoperability as connecting to other entities within and outside of health systems becomes more important.

Disparate and incompatible EHRs cause problems when patients need to change healthcare providers or see a specialist outside of their health system. Standardizing interoperability efforts can immensely help alleviate the interoperability problems currently plaguing the healthcare industry.