The integrated system of care has come to the community hospital as it seeks to improve patient results and lower costs.
Unlike the urban setting where this has become the de facto standard, community hospitals seldom have a wide selection of providers and facilities from which to craft this integrated system or the financial resources available to many large urban systems. Physician practices may be acquired, created, or just closely affiliated. These communities may have established nursing homes, skilled nursing facilities, or other step-down facilities that are traditionally independent or owned by third parties. This environment makes care coordination difficult and inefficient as each encounter may start as a new patient and downstream follow-up is not digital.
When money is no object and decisions are made centrally, the easy answer is to rip out all existing IT systems and install a single platform. Most of us, however, live in the real world. We need to improve patient outcomes by enabling clinicians to order, schedule, and access data across the continuum of care while preserving existing IT investments. Recent Federal regulations recognize this problem and mandates such as prompted by the Cures Act are a step toward solving the problem. Unfortunately, there are hundreds of electronic health records and supporting systems that were built over a long period of time on different technology platforms, with different file formats and naming conventions, and different workflows. A seamless regulatory solution is improbable in the foreseeable future and it will likely be a very painful progression.
Just as the community hospital is the community’s healthcare hub, it must also be the IT hub for an integrated community of care. Today’s environment requires flexibility and use of both old and new interoperability tools, but the rewards are significant. MEDHOST community hospitals partnering with their electronic health record (EHR) provider can go beyond traditional interfaces to use new interoperability solutions that allow for more than just electronic order and results integration. Solutions can now also provide integrated community scheduling of services, automation of financial verification tasks, and workflow management tools. This type of solution allows hospitals to lower costs and maximize revenue while delivering a more seamless patient and provider experience.
YourCare Continuum® from MEDHOST enables our customers to craft communities of care while preserving IT investments and achieving a one-patient, one-record experience. Learn more about how we can help by contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 1.800.383.6278.