Today’s EHR and HIT News includes news from Greenway on how their Interoperability with Epic is helping patients in Pennsylvania and news from HIT consultancy Meta on how they’re helping their customers achieve Stage 2 of meaningful use. There is also customer acquisition news from Patient Pay.
Greenway and Epic EHR Interoperability Helps Mothers and Newborns Receive Higher-Quality, Safer Care
Greenway Medical Technologies and Epic Systems have achieved interoperability between their solutions to improve care coordination for the thousands of patients two of their customers in Lancaster, PA treat in common. The electronic health record (EHR) systems of both companies are exchanging industry-standard Continuity of Care Documents (CCDs) between a large OB/GYN practice and the local hospital-based health system, securely sharing vital information to better coordinate care in their community of health.
This interoperability is the result of a successful “data liquidity” project initiated at the request of Greenway customer Doctors May·Grant Associates, the leading OB/GYN practice in Lancaster, PA, and Epic customer Lancaster General Health’s Women’s & Babies Hospital. The new data-sharing capability, which can be quickly replicated in other settings, delivers significantly more-effective care coordination for over 2,500 patients of Doctors May·Grant whose babies are delivered at Lancaster General Health (LG Health) each year.
“We wanted caregivers to have the most accurate, up-to-date information for every patient, whether they were in the office or the hospital,” said Mona S. Engle, RN, May·Grant practice administrator. “We’re fortunate that our EHR providers, Greenway and Epic, see interoperability as an appropriate way to work together to ultimately enhance patient care.”
The architecture of Greenway’s PrimeSUITE® simplifies the exchange of data with dissimilar EHR systems, with a bidirectional, hub-based exchange that supports all industry standards. The main development task in the project for May·Grant and LG Health was for Epic to create a connection to PrimeSUITE to enable the data flow. With that connection now in place, the Greenway and Epic systems freely exchange CCDs, an industry standard created to promote sharing of such commonly needed patient information as allergies, medications with dosages, problem lists and past health status.
“I love Greenway for the office, and Epic is very powerful for hospital documentation,” said May·Grant’s Terri L. Rapp, MD. “Now that the two systems can exchange CCDs, we’re getting a good combined snapshot of the patient record.”
Michael Ripchinski, MD, LG Health chief medical information officer, sees it as a leap forward in quality, with interoperability delivering information where and when it’s needed in a highly usable form. “We’re moving from convenience now to really improving care for patients.”
Meta Partners with Clients to Make Stage 2 EHR Deployment Meaningful
Meta has announced collaboration for stage two meaningful use with their EHR clients for the purpose of having them participate in the development of these features. The goal is to deliver features that not only will result in successful attestation for the attainment government stimulus funds, but to enhance the functionality demanded of the ARRA requirements.
The United States government, under provisions of the ARRA HITECH stimulus bill, has helped to greatly accelerate the deployment of electronic health records in health care enterprises. Thousands of facilities and practices, large and small, have taken advantage of government incentive funding to implement EHRs that were either delayed or not feasible previously because of prohibitive costs.
The goal of ARRA HITECH is to improve patient care through EHRs that can provide complete and more accurate patient records, improve access to information, and to empower patients to take a more active role in decisions affecting their health. Requirements to receive funding have been developed in phases, or stages. EHR Software vendors have had their products certified as meeting published standards. Many hospital administrators have been critical of meaningful use requirements in that the standards did not result in usable software that actually enhanced patient care. Nowhere in the certification process are usability or innovation evaluated. Many clinicians have been frustrated by adherence to meaningful use requirements that were cumbersome to use without an accompanying benefit to care.
Meta’s President and CEO, Sal Barcia described the process, stating “Working with customers to improve products is consistent with our approach to software development As part of our development of stage two requirements, we will be collaborating with multiple clients at once, with the challenge being the dialogue and decision making leading to consensus. Still and all we are thrilled that our clients are so willing to have strong input into this development cycle.”
Brent Richard, Director of Information Systems at Southern Ohio Medical Center in Portsmouth Ohio, said “This level of client collaboration is unusual in most software development efforts. Typically, the product is completed before clients have the opportunity to critique its usefulness in their respective workflows. Again, Meta has put the needs of the client first. Our development collaboration efforts have brought different perspectives to light which makes the EHR much more robust as it matures to a production version.”
Andrew Dick, CIO at Saline Memorial Hospital, added “Enhancements from the other software companies in my network are usually pushed to us in an update along with release notes. This is often the first we hear of the update. If the enhancement is new functionality, we often are forced to change our processes to accommodate the software enhancement.
“With Meta, we have the opportunity to be part of development. We have input to ensure the software will function well in our current environment. This strategy places the work on the front end, but we do not waste physician and clinician time with non-value added training and reworking of processes that were functioning before the enhancement. Focusing on the process rather than the software has enabled us to be part of developing a user friendly intuitive interface for the clinical staff, so they can spend more time on patient care.”
This process has been underway for several months and Meta clients will be working diligently with Meta to not only meet Stage two requirements, but make them meaningful for both clinicians and patients.
Greenway Enhances Revenue Cycle Management Capabilities with Online Patient Payment Solution from PatientPay
PatientPay™ has announced its patented system has been selected by Greenway Medical Technologies to enhance its leading practice management capabilities to enable its customers to more easily manage the continuing growth of patient balances, estimated to exceed $1 trillion on an annual basis in the United States.
“Greenway strives to bring innovative solutions to our practices that help to meet the many challenges in healthcare today. We are hearing from our customer that patient balances are rapidly becoming one of those major challenges, particularly when it comes to collecting, reconciling and posting. After looking for a solution that specifically addresses these issues, we came to feel that PatientPay offers a superior product to enhance the financial capabilities of our solutions,” said Jared Lisenby, Greenway vice president of business development.
PatientPay eliminates the costly and complicated paper-based billing method used by the overwhelming majority of healthcare providers and drives down the expense and drives up the productivity associated with this activity by up to 50%. Since PatientPay reduces the time to payment in half, healthcare professionals realize improved cash flow and reduced accounts receivables.
The addition of PatientPay to its award-winning suite of software for healthcare organizations fits well with Greenway’s accelerating shift from on-premise license sales to a subscription-based revenue model. The web-based PatientPay service quickly and easily integrates within the financial operations of Greenway customers and can be up-and-running immediately.
“Greenway has developed an innovative platform that makes it seamless for its practices to launch new services quickly and efficiently, such as PatientPay,” said Tom Furr, PatientPay’s CEO. “We are thrilled to be part of this exciting growth initiative and honored to have had our service selected to be a key linkage between Greenway’s financial solutions and a healthcare provider’s business operations by virtue of PatientPay’s automated billing, collecting, reconciling and posting functions, so vital to the efficient financial management of a healthcare provider.”