Wednesday, May 11 | Post-Acute Care, Human Services, EHR Solutions and Operations, Interoperability

Achieving Interoperability in the Real World

By AJ Peterson, Senior Vice President and General Manager, CareGuidance

Interoperability has become the keystone of healthcare technology. It is the essential piece that allows providers to succeed in value-based care models and support care coordination for essential services, such as crisis management. 

But what does “interoperability” look like in the real world for an individual with complicated conditions and multiple needs?

Interoperability in action

At the HIMSS 2022 Interoperability Showcase, Netsmart took part in a multimodality demonstration that highlighted how solutions from disparate providers can work together to coordinate care and improve outcomes. Eight other vendors joined Netsmart to offer a clear picture of how providers across the spectrum – acute care, primary care, specialists, behavior health, home care, skilled nursing facilities – connected to coordinate care. 

Starting with discharge from the emergency department for treatment of complications due to COVID-19, the demonstration followed the sequence of referrals and consultations for an individual with multiple chronic conditions. 

Complicated cases rarely follow a single trajectory, so the demo included referrals to specialists to treat additional complications, neurological testing and a psychiatric evaluation to gauge his ability to live independently, and ultimately a referral for rehabilitation at a skilled nursing facility.

The underlying foundation for this exchange of information is 360X, a protocol of technical standards that Netsmart has implemented in its Direct Secure Messaging solution, CareConnect Inbox. It builds on the ability of certified EHR systems to push information in real time to other EHRs.

In each phase, the functionality supported by interoperability was the key to closing the loop between referral and care delivery to optimize results:

  • Real-time admission/discharge/transfer (ADT) alerts to care providers

  • Referrals and acceptances of referrals in real time

  • Ability to push C-CDA documents from the referring EHR to the receiving EHR

  • Usage of discrete data that allows specialists to populate a new patient chart with up-to-date information on demographics, data, allergies, medications and immunizations 

  • Providing encounter notes, assessments and test results to referring providers

  • Ensuring the primary care chart is always accurate and up to date with reconciliation of medications, recurring issues and other key information based on what specialists have prescribed and recommended

In summary, the demo showed that true interoperability is about the technical capabilities to confirm care takes place, that providers are able to share results and assessments, and ensure that every scrap of useful information is available at the point of care, wherever that care is taking place. 

Where does interoperability stand today?

At Netsmart, interoperability is not a “one day in the future” promise. Our clients are using technology right now that is enabling them to connect to other EHRs. 

In addition to implementing 360X, Netsmart is also a founding member and implementer of Carequality, a collaboration between private and public entities to create an interoperability framework. Currently, Carequality connects Netsmart clients to hundreds of thousands of providers throughout the United States. 

This success story highlights how two Netsmart clients are using the Carequality network to optimize outcomes and support patient-centered care. 

 

 

Meet the Author

AJ Peterson · Senior Vice President and General Manager, CareGuidance

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