Major Health System and Behavioral Health Provider Integrate Health Data to Treat Mind and Body
Groundbreaking initiative links Epic and Netsmart EHRs to facilitate care for patients of LifeWorks NW and Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center
Overland Park, Kan., February 19, 2015 – The body and mind work together, yet fragmented care has long prevented holistic treatment of physical and mental illnesses. A primary care doctor, for example, wouldn’t necessarily know that a patient is battling a mental condition. By the same measure, a behavioral health clinician often doesn’t have ready access to a client’s acute care history. A technology initiative launched between Oregon behavioral health services provider LifeWorks NW and Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center is changing that so both organizations can more effectively treat the “whole person.”
“This initiative will allow clinicians on both sides – primary care and behavioral health – to deliver more informed care based on a more complete picture of clients,” says LifeWorks NW President and CEO, Mary Monnat.
Working in conjunction with OCHIN (The Oregon Community Health Information Network) and using Netsmart’s CareConnect™ solution, a CCD (Continuity of Care Document) is created for each client that is exchanged electronically between LifeWorks NW and Virginia Garcia in a protected manner. The CCD includes integrated data from the Netsmart CareRecord™ (EHR) used by LifeWorks NW and the Epic EHR used by Virginia Garcia.
LifeWorks NW and Virginia Garcia have long worked together – – LifeWorks NW staff maintain offices in all Virginia Garcia facilities while a Virginia Garcia physician also provides services on site at a LifeWorks NW facility. Prior to this initiative, however, clinicians were unable to electronically access patient records from their counterparts. This new direct connection eliminates redundant tasks like copying, scanning, trading phone calls and transferring paperwork. Virginia Garcia is a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC). FQHCs serve underserved populations, offering a sliding fee scale, making them eligible for enhanced reimbursement from Medicare and Medicaid.
“This system delivers the right data to the right place at the right time, and enables earlier identification and treatment of acute and behavioral issues,” said Laura Byerly, M.D., medical director at Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center.
The Netsmart CareConnect solution links providers with hospitals, physicians, Health Information Exchanges (HIEs) and integrated delivery networks. The solution enables all providers to have full visibility into a person’s authorized health data, with benefits that include:
· Higher quality, more comprehensive care
· Improved outcomes
· Elimination of redundant or unnecessary testing
· Prevention of drug-to-drug interactions
· More deeply engaged healthcare consumers
· Reduced health-related costs
“It’s partnerships like this that break down silos to provide continuity of care to those with co-morbid mental and medical conditions,” says Netsmart CEO Mike Valentine. “Interoperable EHRs clear the way for clinicians to focus on their ultimate goal – treating the whole person.”
About LifeWorks NW
Founded in 1961 and based in Portland, Oregon, LifeWorks NW provides mental health, addiction and related social services for a healthy community. The nonprofit agency has clinics and service centers throughout Multnomah, Washington and Clackamas counties. The agency’s services benefit children, teens, adults, older adults and families. Last year, LifeWorks NW provided services to more than 18,000 people.
About Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center
Virginia Garcia provides healthcare services to more than 38,000 patients a year in Washington and Yamhill Counties at our five primary care clinics and pharmacies, five dental offices, and five school-based health centers. We also provide outreach to schools, community health fairs and to migrant and seasonal farmworkers at local camps and commercial nurseries through our mobile clinic.
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Netsmart is pleased to support the EveryDay Matters Foundation, which was established for behavioral and public health organizations to learn from each other and share their causes and stories. For more information, visit www.everydaymatters.com
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