Brightree, CommonWell Partner to Improve Hospice, Home Health Interoperability

Health care IT company Brightree is partnering with CommonWell Health Alliance, an association of health IT companies, to improve access to hospice and home health patient documents and data via electronic medical record systems. Brightree is a wholly owned subsidiary of ResMed (NYSE: RMD).

The partnership is designed to allow for speedier transfers of information between the hospice and the patient’s previous health care providers, such as a hospital or primary care physician, reducing the staff time and resources of obtaining medical records manually and potentially reducing gaps in records or other patient information. Hospices can also use the Brightree-CommonWell system to update physicians and other providers in the CommonWell Network who have cared for that patient.

CommonWell Health Alliance is a 501(c)(6) not-for-profit trade association founded in 2013 by seven health IT organizations seeking solutions to the longstanding problem of health care IT interoperability. The organization currently has more than 80 members.

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Interoperability is the ability of different information systems, devices or applications to connect, in a coordinated manner, within and across organizational boundaries to access, exchange and cooperatively use data amongst stakeholders, with the goal of optimizing the health of individuals and populations, according to the Healthcare Information Management and Systems Society.

“This unprecedented level of access will help our hospice customers boost efficiencies, provide more immediate care and deliver a better overall experience to the patients they serve,” Nick Knowlton, Brightree vice president of Business Development and CommonWell board vice chair, told Hospice News. “Customers will experience efficiency gains when processing new patients and serving current patients by easily accessing important medical information from any unexpected encounters with other care providers. The connectivity will also give referral sources and other care providers with whom hospice patients interact greater visibility into a patient’s post-acute care journey.”

In survey conducted by Brightree, 60% of referring providers say they would select a post-acute care delivery partner based on their ability to interoperate with the referral source. Through the CommonWell network, hospice and home health EMR systems could interact with more than 50,000 other health care providers and health systems, according to Knowlton.

“Fluid data exchange is so critical to successful patient management across a system of care,” said Denise Schrader, MSN, RN, NEA-BC, vice president of integrated services at Mosaic Life Care in Saint Joseph, Mo.

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