Capital Caring, Netsmart Partner on EHR Interoperability

Kansas-based health care technology firm Netsmart is partnering with Virginia-based nonprofit hospice provider Capital Caring to improve IT interoperability and improve workflows.

Capital Caring will use the Netsmart’s myUnity electronic health record (EHR) system to reduce paper records and allow clinicians to receive patient data electronically to avoid unnecessary data entry. The system interfaces with referrer’s EHR systems so that clinical, demographic and other critical patient information will automatically replicate in the hospice’s EHR and vice versa.

“What we are able to do through a seamless network is directly connect our post acute provider clients to the rest of health care,” Billie Whitehurst, general manager for Netsmart, told Hospice News. “All the health care partners need to communicate in order to be successful. You need that interoperability as patients move through the continuum from primary  care to inpatient care to post acute, so we are opening up the ability to share information for better outcomes and better efficiency.” 

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The system allows Capital Caring to benchmark their performance on internal or industry-wide quality metrics against past performance or that of others in the hospice or larger health care space. Tools within the system provide reminders to staff to complete required documentation to support regulatory compliance.

Existing and forthcoming value-based payment models from the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services increasingly require participating providers to use certified EHR systems. Additionally, as post-acute care moves closer to value-based payment models, improving efficiency will be a priority for many hospices, according to Whitehurst.

“I think the post acute market has been on this journey towards value-based payments for some time, and it’s been happening in separate, itinerant steps, and now we are seeing it move at a little bit of a faster pace,” Whitehurst said. “It represents the need to help providers be more efficient with the care that they are delivering and to be able to prove the patient outcomes they achieve. Interoperability should be seamless, and it should be easy for the clinician. Our hope is that they don’t have to work to get the right information in order to deliver the best, most consistent care. If we can do that automatically through data integration that is a huge win.”

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