Testing the Technology to Support True Coordinated Care for Behavioral and Physical Health
NEW YORK, NY March 11, 2015 – For the past two years, Foothold Technology has been at the forefront of making true coordinated care a reality for agencies around the country through its AWARDS software application. On a recent trip to Cleveland, OH, the Foothold team hit another milestone, further solidifying its position as the leading provider of behavioral health Electronic Health Records (EHRs). Sitting among rows and rows of tables in a conference room in Cleveland, OH, Foothold Application Developers joined other software developers from over 100 participating vendors for what was billed as the IHE North American (NA) Connectathon, a pre-cursor to the HIMSS Interoperability Showcase.
The Connectathon is an intense, five-day, cross-vendor, supervised, structured testing event with over 600 engineers and IT architects, utilizing 140+ test systems to complete over 4,560 successful tests. All of these organizations and IT experts converge for one full week of interoperability testing and problem resolution. The Connectathon is a tech-focused event and a requirement to participate in the HIMSS Interoperability Showcase, with huge implications for agencies using an EHR to provide services to their clients and patients. Participants tested their products against multiple vendors using real-world clinical scenarios contained in IHE’s Integration Profiles. Vendors were evaluated on interoperability and how well they conformed to these Profiles. As one of the only behavioral health EHRs with interoperability capabilities, Foothold’s participation in the event was somewhat monumental, as most of the participants were primary care behemoths such as GE and Epic.
In fact, Foothold Application Developers were able to send data with the best of them, garnering a 100% success rate with other vendors being able to accept records shared out of AWARDS.
“The Connectathon was a test lab for us. We were able to play with larger systems and not only test our data exchange implementation, but also test our capability to reconcile clinical documents (CDA/CCD) into the patient record. This means AWARDS allows providers access to the most accurate, up-to-date clinical information in regard to the patient they are treating. This live testing with other EHRs is really helpful in making sure our software is truly interoperable and meets the IHE standards.”
– Shula Turin, Director of Application Development, Foothold Technology
Why should this testing matter so much to a non-techie? The concept of interoperability may feel foreign to some, but within five years it will be the standard for all providers to share data electronically, and AWARDS stands ready to support this concept and functionality today. Foothold’s AWARDS software application supports coordinated care by allowing specialists, providers and doctors to upload and download patient data into and out of any type of health information exchange (HIE). This fosters the ability for providers to gain a more in depth medical history of the patient they are treating. Interoperability enables healthcare providers in any Health Home or other coordinated care model across the country to participate in safe, secure, HIPAA-compliant data exchanges, allowing for a full view of a patient’s health history. True interoperability enables a nurse treating a patient in a community health clinic to see that the same patient is also undergoing treatment for a behavioral health issue and is continuing treatment for a chronic physical health condition with their primary care physician. AWARDS stands ready to share data from the behavioral health corner of this scenario.
By participating in the Connectathon and exchanging data successfully, AWARDS continues to be one of very few behavioral health EHRs with proven, tested interoperability. “We were thrilled with our success in exchanging data with other vendors at the Connectathon. It’s great to be recognized as one of very few EHRs with the capability to use the IHE-certified technical protocols that are standard in the healthcare technology industry,” says Marlowe Greenberg, CEO of Foothold. “But most importantly, our ongoing, innovative technical work means we can help our agencies realize a vision in which providers can better collaborate to deliver more effect care to people in need.”