The opioid crisis is a top issue in the public health space, one in which HIE data could provide valuable insights to inform a coordinated response. In partnership with a county health department in our service area, HealtheConnections has launched a pilot program for opioid surveillance that supports their efforts.
HealtheConnections built a self-service surveillance application to be added to its community myData system. myData is a platform that uses HIE data, dashboards, and registries to help a clinician easily access and understand their patient profiles, identify gaps in care, and see how they rank in quality measures.
This surveillance application contains opioid-related hospitalization data to assist the county’s opioid work group to take action. By providing them with nearly real-time hospital discharge data, they are able to monitor the opioid epidemic in their county and identify clusters of overdoses to guide intervention strategies. HealtheConnections’ application allows the task force to visualize the data in maps or lists, with filtering options that help them answer questions about their population, identify trends, and develop targeted solutions.
Similar hospitalization data are currently available to the county health departments through state reports, but there is a caveat – there’s typically a 6-12 month lag time. At that point, the information has significantly decreased in value. With HIE data through HealtheConnections, that time is closer to 24 hours.
The surveillance project is currently in pilot stages with the intent to roll out on a broader scale.
Health information exchange has proven to be a critical tool in support of clinical action, developing technologies that support interoperability and access to data that providers require at their fingertips. With the onset of value-based care structures, the need for data-driven solutions has only grown.
HealtheConnections has developed analytics tools like myData in response to this need. We’ve built a foundation of services and technology that drive clinical action, but there is untapped potential to take these same concepts and bring additional value to a new audience. Local health departments and population-level initiatives can benefit from partnerships with regional HIEs and take advantage of New York’s robust statewide network of health information. By leveraging our breadth of HIE data, services and analytics experience, we can also support our partners taking population-level action.
At HealtheConnections, we strive to offer healthcare providers with the connections they need to provide better patient care. By giving clinicians the tools they need in order to have easy access to their patient’s information, HealtheConnections helps bridge the gap between the patient, the healthcare organization, and the entire community.
One organization that fully utilizes the many opportunities HealtheConnections provides is Sullivan County Public Health. We spoke with Epidemiologist Haley Motola, MS to learn more about how Sullivan County Public Health benefits from our services.
Motola explained that the Health Department is comprised of a Certified Home Health Agency, an Epidemiology Department, the Early Intervention Program, Healthy Families of Sullivan, and Public Health Education and that they offer Public Health Nursing-visiting nursing, occupational therapy, physical therapy, childhood immunization clinics, adult immunization clinics, disease education and prevention promotion, rabies reporting, childhood lead poisoning prevention, and many other public services.
“The staff working within all of the Sullivan County Department of Public Health Programs help those who would otherwise have difficulty accessing care and are vital to our community health,” Motola said, adding that the overall goal of her department specifically is to prevent the spread of infectious agents and environmental concerns that harm human health and wellness.
How does HealtheConnections come into play within Motola’s department? “I use HealtheConnections every day to complete infectious disease investigations. I am able to access information such as illness onset, pre-existing conditions, notification of the patient of the diagnosis, symptoms, medication prescribed and provider contact information and more,” she said. She also indicated that HealtheConnections helps her organization locate information that can be difficult to obtain, such as insurance coverage and next-of-kin.
She also said that often, the patients they work with have provided a more thorough view of their disease progression to their provider or their local emergency department. They may not be able to recall all the pertinent details when Motola’s department investigates, which can negatively impact the investigation. “HealtheConnections has reduced the impact that recall bias has on important investigations by providing information from the patient at the time of the illness, instead of relying solely on recollection,” said Motola.
Time is frequently of the essence when it comes to disease investigation, and Motola is pleased that the services offered by HealtheConnections have cut down on that time. “I used to spend a great deal of time trying to find out information from providers on the phone. With HealtheConnections, I am able to spend more time talking to the patient during the investigation, with more lab information and diagnostic transcriptions. Having faster and more timely information has been the absolute most beneficial aspect of HealtheConnections within our department.”
How Sun River Health Uses HealtheConnections
HealtheConnections recently had the opportunity to work with Sun River Health, a Federally Qualified Health Center and one of the nation’s largest community health providers. Sun River Health was awarded a grant centered on creating a dashboard that would, of many things, help lower readmission rates and schedule follow-ups after an ED visit. One of the goals was to implement an alerting system in which secure files would be sent as an alert to their dashboard. HealtheConnections was able to assist by quickly setting up its daily digest alerting function through Sun River Health’s dashboard.
This is just one example of how organizations like yours can use HealtheConnections and the health information exchange to improve care.
Like all of our core HIE services, it is FREE.
If you are interested in learning more about HealtheConnections Alerts, or any other services we offer, email us at email@example.com
For a busy care manager, coordinating medical treatments, including administering assessments, developing care plans, and monitoring medication compliance to advocate for a patient’s health is no easy task.
Care managers serve as the main point of contact between the patient and practice and need to get in touch with various people to coordinate a patient’s care. But getting the right person on the phone or through email can be a challenge.
With HealtheConnections, care managers can view a patient’s medical summary, including provider notes, discharge information, medications, allergies, and more, all in one place.
No faxing. No calling. No waiting.
Care Managers leverage HealtheConnections’ services to:
“HealtheConnections is a huge part of follow-up. If there is a patient who is not in our hospital system, we can log into the myConnections portal, see why the patient was there, view provider notes, and receive discharge information all in one place. That way, we know what steps to take upon their discharge and assist the patient with any needed follow-up.”
-Care Manager Coordinator, St. Joseph’s Health
This is just one example of how your staff can use HealtheConnections and the health information exchange to improve care.
Like all of our core HIE services, it is at no cost.
If you are interested in learning more about HealtheConnections and the services we offer, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org