Valley Presbyterian Hospital (VPH), a MEDITECH EHR customer and one of the largest full-service acute care facilities in the San Fernando Valley, serves millions of patients throughout the Los Angeles area. With a diverse and often vulnerable patient population, VPH clinicians depend on seamless exchange of patients’ clinical data to ensure they have the most complete view of the individuals they treat.
Prior to the summer of 2019, if a patient acknowledged having a primary care provider but couldn’t identify the physician or clinic, VPH would need to first determine which clinic the patient was assigned to before sending a direct message with a discharge summary of care. In a community where patients frequently move and change health plans, the hospital staff had difficulty identifying the patient’s primary care provider from among the other providers a patient had previously seen. This was especially challenging when caring for the community’s vulnerable population.
Thanks to its recent connection to the CommonWell Health Alliance® network and its bridge to the Carequality interoperability framework, VPH clinicians now have enhanced access to their patient’s medical history—enabling them to make more informed treatment decisions while improving the patient experience. Since VPH partners with many federally qualified health clinics (FQHCs) in the San Fernando Valley—each of which has its own EHR—the connection enables exchange with these EHRs and further reduces gaps in care. In addition, it expands VPH’s interoperability beyond the capabilities it achieves through its participation in the Los Angeles Network for Enhanced Services (LANES), the county’s leading HIE.
“Out of all our interoperability options, CommonWell comes closest to what ONC and CMS envisioned and requires the least development effort,” says Jeff Allport, the CIO and VP at VPH. “It has the potential to make health data exchange common and straightforward, allowing us to reduce our integration technology footprint.”
With the CommonWell-Carequality connection built into their MEDITECH EHR, VPH registration staff and providers have access to more than 40,000 provider sites nationwide, enabling them to acknowledge patients during enrollment and check-in. The emergency department benefits from the ability to pull in relevant information from CommonWell; and so far, averages more than a 75 percent capture rate when listing the previous day’s missed patients. Some of these these missed patients may represent the area’s homeless population—a critical, yet challenging population when it comes to matching and linking health care data.
“I’m thrilled the discussion has transformed from focusing on how to get the information to how to present and manage the information we’re getting,” says Allport.