What is Care Coordination?
Care Coordination allows consumers to receive the services they need from every part of the healthcare system while improving a consumer’s experience and avoiding duplication of services.
Imagine all the specialists involved in your clients’ care, including labs and pharmacies, are connected electronically, with the ability to see a complete record of your clients’ history across the spectrum of providers in your community. For agencies in the Foothold Technology community, this functionality is a reality…
Care Coordination and EHR Interoperability
The practical mechanics of care coordination and interoperability:
- Health Information Exchange (HIE) connections will plug your agency into your region or state’s cloud for healthcare records and let you send records, pull records back, and receive alerts seamlessly. Think of this as an online file sharing system similar to Google Drive or Dropbox.
- Direct messages (like HISP for example) will let you safely and securely send healthcare records to other providers. This works like email and is especially helpful for referrals.
- E-Labs and E-Prescribing (eRx) functionality allow you to send and receive prescriptions and orders for medications and lab tests.
Holistic use cases:
- An individual you are supporting goes to an emergency room; that client’s record is accessible there.
- A client is discharged or transitioned; that client record can be sent to other providers and specialists.
- A client meets with a specialist, needs lab work, and/or a controlled substance as part of their care plan.
Focus on the Individual
At the heart of care coordination is the individual. As a provider, you want to make sure you are providing person-centered care and support while meeting the “whole person” needs of the individual. With interoperability, care coordination results in better support for the individual and savings in costs for the provider and the community.
Focus on the individual:
- By considering how those you serve are interacting with the Healthcare System as a whole.
- By integrating Person-Centered Care or Patient-Centered Medical Homes (PCMH) into your model.
- By interacting with the collaborative organizations that enable care coordination. Whether it’s a Care Coordination Organization (CCO), Behavioral Health Care Collaborative (BHCC), or some other similarly named unit of care that is organizing providers to coordinate care, these entities are working with providers to share data and move toward a Value-Based Care (VBC)/Value-Based Payments (VBP) model aimed at improving the patient experience, improving outcomes, and reducing costs.
Where does AWARDS fit in to all of this? AWARDS is your key to interacting with the broader healthcare system. With interoperability offered through AWARDS Certified Edition, you are able to send structured data, receive alerts, send and receive referrals, exchange care plan data, and reconcile medications.
Why is Interoperability Important to My Agency?
Care coordination allows agencies to:
- Contribute healthcare records in case of an emergency or transition of care.
- Incorporate physical health and behavioral health data in one place for an individual’s “one record.”
- Receive critical alerts on client activity such as emergency room/department visits.
- Send data to the larger healthcare system to aid in research, support the identification of trends like population health, and examine social determinants of health.
Why Partner with Foothold Technology?
At Foothold, we’ve been taking proactive steps for years to prepare our providers to be a part of this vision of care coordination. We established partnerships with groups like InterSystems, the global leader of HIE technology, and integrated with our AWARDS software the Intersystems HealthShare platform, which is currently being used in HIEs across the US and around the world.
When you partner with Foothold Technology, you have access to powerful tools allowing your agency to operate with a high level of interoperability. Built on years of experience and partnerships within the industry, here’s some of what you can expect:
- We offer a secure environment to capture your agency’s work, including the secure exchange of electronic Protected Health Information (ePHI).
- We meet the latest and greatest interoperability standards, ensuring our customers can coordinate care.
- We go above and beyond in working with partners to bring you support and collaboration well beyond your initial EHR implementation phase.
Care Coordination in Practice
What follows are a few examples of how our client community is using AWARDS to meet their care coordination and interoperability needs along with some of the initiatives Foothold participates in to help our clients navigate coordinated care.
Nothing speaks louder than the voices of our customers using AWARDS Certified Edition. Here are just a few examples of those voices:
The Bridge, New York
Michael Blady shares thoughts on how his organization, The Bridge, is working with Foothold Technology to share data with Health Information Exchanges.
BronxWorks, New York
Charlela Lacewell & Sarah Carbone share thoughts on how AWARDS is providing BronxWorks with tools it needs for interoperability and Health Information Exchange.
Foothold In The Fight Against Opioid Abuse: Partnering With Others Through the HIMSS EHRA
As an Electronic Health Record (EHR) vendor, Foothold Technology participates in several national collaboratives convened to examine the challenges individuals and providers face in our changing landscape. Through partnerships and by collaborating with others, we share ideas on how to effectively harness the power of technology to support communities across the country. Through our participation, we strive to ensure the voices of our customers are heard on a national level, and actively generate innovative ways to address, collectively, the needs of the communities we support. This includes our participation with groups like the HIMSS EHRA, which is designed to improve or enhance the ability of interoperability functionality among physical and behavioral health providers and to identify how an EHR can impact healthcare in positive ways.
THINK TANK | The Challenges and Opportunities of Care Coordination Involving Behavioral Health Data
As an electronic health record (EHR) vendor, we know there are challenges and opportunities related to care coordination in an ever-evolving landscape. There are challenges related to data, workflows, resources, and understanding and implementing the concept of coordinated care. I’ve written about some of these topics before. To address these challenges, Foothold Technology continues to enhance our software, but we also continue to collaborate with partners, leading experts, and our customers on issues related to healthcare IT and interoperability
Changes to Meaningful Use Could Bring New Opportunities
For many of Foothold Technology behavioral health customers, interoperability has already become an increasingly important aspect of their work. It will continue to be the case as the landscape of care continues to adapt.