Large OB/GYN Practice and Community Health System Exchange Information between Dissimilar EHRs for Improved Care Coordination and Effectiveness
CARROLLTON, Georgia, July 9, 2013 — 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 & 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.”Mona S. Engle, RN, Practice Administrator May·Grant
Greenway has long led in interoperability, championing the importance of a medical practice implementing the EHR that best suits its unique needs, and a community hospital or health system implementing the EHR that best suits its unique needs, without causing a disconnect in patient care coordination.
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.”
Benefits for Patients and Providers
“Electronification of health data continues to evolve, and by no means are we close to being at the end game,” said Greenway® President and Chief Executive Officer Tee Green. “Moving to convenient and cost-effective cloud-based service delivery, and cooperatively focusing on connecting practices and hospitals as Greenway and Epic have done in Lancaster, is a major step toward population health and the care coordination that consumers and payers are increasingly demanding.”Tee Green, CEO Greenway Health
Extending data liquidity across the Greenway and Epic systems has delivered a wealth of benefits to May·Grant and LG Health, including:
- Higher-Quality, Safer Care. “Being able to get the most updated patient information helps providers care for patients in the best way possible,” Dr. Rapp noted. Physicians can make informed care decisions and avoid complications such as allergic reactions or dangerous medication interactions.
- Greater Efficiency: “It certainly makes you more efficient as a provider when you can click on one document to look at previous visits and history,” Dr. Rapp said. Efficiencies at admission improve efficiencies throughout the hospital, from beds to staffing and length of stay. “It all flows from physicians being able to quickly understand what is going on with the patient.”
- Improved Referral Transitions: “It’s so much easier to refer a patient when physicians can open the referring provider’s notes and not have to wait for a fax,” Engle said. Dr. Ripchinski noted that LG Health has over 1,200 medical staff members, and May·Grant can now exchange real-time patient information with any provider in that network. Giving each new provider a full view of the patient’s health record contributes to better-coordinated ongoing care and reduces duplicative care.
- Improved Revenue: Interoperability has also improved May·Grant’s practice management and revenue cycle management processes, particularly when a hospital patient is assigned to the practice for follow-up care. “Now we’re able to get all of the details we need to process claims on behalf of those new patients,” Engle said. “Since we can query the hospital for the information we need to submit with a claim, searching for that information no longer slows us down.”
- Compliance With Mandates: May·Grant and LG Health are now better-positioned to comply with current and future directives of healthcare reform. “We already have two totally independent systems able to talk to each other,” Engle said. “As the federal government mandates things, we’ll be ready to move to the next stages.”
Dr. Ripchinski agreed. “Greenway has been very progressive in working to achieve the goal of interoperable patient records. We’re very fortunate that Epic and Greenway are so willing to collaborate toward this standard.”
About Greenway And PrimeSUITE
Greenway Medical Technologies, Inc. (NYSE: GWAY) delivers smarter solutions for smarter healthcare™. PrimeSUITE® — Greenway’s certified and fully integrated electronic health record, practice management and interoperability solution platform — helps improve care coordination, quality and cost-efficiency as part of a smarter, sustainable healthcare system. Thousands of care providers across primary care and more than 30 specialties and sub-specialties use cloud-based or on-premise Greenway® solutions in healthcare enterprises, physician practices, ambulatory clinics and alternate care venues nationwide. For details, see greenwaymedical.com, Twitter, Facebook or YouTube.
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Bob Pritchard (Media)