“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.”
- 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.”