Hospitals and IDNs are increasingly looking for new ways to stay connected with their affiliated physicians to enable sharing of health information, streamline the referrals process, and provide seamless access to hospital, lab, PBMs and payer networks. Both hospitals and their affiliated physicians really get excited about the idea of having a consolidated view of patient information and a more integrated workflow, as it is an enabler for increased efficiency, reduced errors and improved outcomes.
First, it creates an integrated network for the sharing of patient information which is scattered across a diverse set of systems in different domains. This includes electronic medical records stored in isolated EMRs, practice management or clinical systems, and even accommodates paper records. Having a “virtual”, joined-up view of a patient’s medical record can immediately improve efficiency, reduce waste and mitigate risk for decision making in healthcare. Second, it enables an integrated workflow at multiple levels between the patient, affiliated physicians and specialists, the hospital and payer networks. This provides substantial time savings due to more efficient collaboration, especially in reducing the number of duplicate orders requests. Today, it's quite common for everything from scheduling to referrals to be handled by phone or fax, which is resource intensive and error prone; this solution can reduce these errors, specifically those associated with repeat data entry – there's a wealth of industry research data on the error rates associated with manual data entry, most figures put this between 5 and 15%.
Many hospitals initially consider extending their EHR solutions to these physician networks, but this isn't an ideal approach for a few reasons:
- Hospital workflows are focused on episodic care, which are fundamentally different than ambulatory care workflows, which are geared more towards a patient's lifelong health records. Therefore, the Healthcare IT systems supporting each need to be different as well.
- This approach doesn't accommodate a practice's existing investment in an ambulatory care records system. This typically results in one of two outcomes, both of which are less than ideal: numerous expensive system integrations between the ambulatory EMRs at the affiliated physician practices, or reliance on a set of redundant processes, like dual data entry.
Recently, Intel and IGI teamed up to bring a solution for a hospital's affiliated physicians to the marketplace. This is a best of breed solution that integrates Intel SOA Expressway with IGI's ORBIT framework to enable sharing of health information, streamline the referrals process, and provide seamless access to hospital, payer and ancillary services.
IGI’s ORBIT® is a comprehensive solution for Managed Care companies that would like to implement a Provider Portal to interconnect physicians, hospitals, labs and the payer systems. It provides a physicians portal, patient management and clinical data repository, online transaction status for claims, member benefits, referrals/pre-cert, and much more.
Intel SOA Expressway for Healthcare is a high-performance health information gateway from Intel, that simplifies healthcare information interoperability. It provides a configuration-centric solution to integrates islands of health data and ensure data privacy, delivers out-of-the box support for healthcare data standards, and enables healthcare organizations to service-enable their legacy Healthcare IT to interoperate with the entire healthcare enterprise.
Intel® SOA Expressway for Healthcare is a specific implementation of a new product category called a SOA "soft appliance", which delivers a breakthrough in simplicity, cost and scalability for enabling high-quality health information exchange.