Posted on behalf of Alyssa Semple, Regional Sales Manager
“Meaningful” has become an obsolete buzz word in the healthcare industry in recent years, with the onslaught of Meaningful Use. So much so, that the incentive program has been renamed “Promoting Interoperability (PI)”. Even the name change seems to express that exchanging information is necessary and deserving of greater focus, but it’s not meaningful in its’ current iteration. We have a fragmented business model, with many organizations sharing data within their own space or health system, but not in a way that providers appreciate or use.
With industry drivers promoting interoperability in a way that feels cumbersome and forced, how can we, as a healthcare community, turn it around? 
We need to look at existing infrastructures to share the data that is being collected in a way that is truly meaningful, and provide the ability for actual care coordination and patient safety, while also easing the burden of healthcare organizations to do so. Ultimately, the methods of data exchange need to become a practice with sustainability and longevity, rather than something to tick of a regulatory checkbox.
Don’t we want our providers to actually use the information that CMS and organizations have spent so much time and effort to ensure is being collected?
Leveraging interface engine technology as a basis for customizing the data to be shared is a great way to do this. Summit’s Provider Access allows organizations to enhance data sharing to the broader community, which may include independent physician offices, long term care facilities, home-based programs, or even other hospitals in an emergent event. Web-based access to information eliminates the obstacles of sharing between organizations with disparate, or the lack of, EHR technology. A CCD can always be provided, but data can also be provided according to physician preferences for what they want and need to know in order to provide continuity of care in a way to meet patient needs and promote improved outcomes.
Here are some ways in which clients are leveraging Summit’s Provider Access technology to provide information that is truly meaningful:

  • Alerting providers of hospital events for their patients
  • Sharing relevant hospital event information and discharge instructions to community-based providers
  • Providing transition of care data to area hospitals as part of a Disaster Plan
  • Augmenting care provide in a Veteran’s program, by sharing medical histories to home-based caregivers, accessible on a mobile device.

Some added benefits that organizations are experiencing include:

  • Increased security / Audit Trails for PHI
  • Providing access for outside providers to the EHR is eradicated
  • HIM Staff workload is lightened
  • Faxing costs eliminated
  • Information can be accessed in real time, without waiting for a request to be processed
  • A mobile solution provides ease of use in any scenario
  • Increasing referral network and revenues

The above uses cases and benefits not only allow organizations to provide data that is truly relevant and meaningful to providers, but it also allows them to be proactive, rather than reactive. It is possible to improve patient care, safety and outcomes and the same time as increasing provider satisfaction, and creating greater efficiencies for hospitals.
Isn’t that the ultimate goal?