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Allscripts, CarePort Health Joining for Improved Care Coordination

The two companies are working together for more care coordination options, including better referral management and discharge planning.

allscripts ehr care coordination

Source: Thinkstock

By Elizabeth Snell

- Allscripts company CarePort Health will now be managing the Allscripts Care Management solution and services portfolio in an effort to have stronger care coordination offerings to providers, payers and ACOs, according to a CarePort Health announcement.

The Care Management EHR-agnostic platform was originally founded as ECIN and is utilized by approximately 1,000 hospitals nationwide. Care Management offers tools for acute case management, discharge planning, and utilization review. Its network has more than 20,000 providers.

Additionally, the Referral Management aspect of the platform is “an intake, referral management and discharge planning tool for post-acute care providers,” CarePort explained.

“The shift to outcomes-based reimbursement models created a heightened need for providers and health organizations to transition patients out of the hospital efficiently with established solutions, such as Care Management, and to track patients’ health as they transition across multiple care settings, using technologies such as CarePort,” said CarePort Health CEO and Founder Dr. Lissy Hu.

“This new organization combines the experience and talent of Care Management and CarePort into one team with a singular focus on care coordination and the directive to be nimble and responsive to customer needs.”

Allscripts President Rick Poulton added that bringing together Care Management and CarePort will further fuel the future of care coordination.

“We are doubling down on all areas of the care management business, including product development, customer support, services, sales and marketing,” he said in a statement.

CarePort’s executive team will also be expanding under the new care coordination approach.

ECIN Co-founder and CEO Scott Kerber will lead development and solutions, while Allscripts and ECIN veteran Dave Borowski is set to take over Services and Support.

Internal care coordination problems was cited by the ECRI Institute as the third most critical patient safety concern for healthcare organizations in 2018.

“Poorly coordinated care puts patients at risk for safety events such as medication errors, lack of necessary follow-up care, and diagnostic delays,” ECRI researchers explained in their 2018 Top 10 Patient Safety Concerns report. “Like so many preventable errors in healthcare, these risks come down to a failure to communicate.”

ECRI added that encouraging care teams to use admission, discharge, and transfer (ADT) notifications and alerts can help improve communication between providers within the same health system. For example, ADT notifications could be imbedded into EHR systems to inform providers in numerous locations of a patient’s location and status. 

Sharing patient medical histories, medication lists, and other kinds of data through health information exchange can also ensure providers are aware of all relevant clinical information, ECRI explained.

“Many handoff tools are available to ensure the vital information is communicated and the process is standardized,” ECRI Institute Senior Patient Safety Analyst Elizabeth Drozd said in the report.

A 2017 study also underlined the importance of care coordination, showing that strong EHR use can help in the process.  

Published in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine (JABFM), the study found integrated primary and behavioral healthcare is increasing in popularity due to its benefits for those managing behavioral health disorders.

EHR use is crucial to coordinating care between these care teams, while integrated EHRs can standardize and streamline collaboration, researchers explained. Additionally, care delivery between providers can also be improved.  

“Establish standard processes and infrastructure necessary for your integrated care approach: workflows, protocols for scheduling and staffing, documentation procedures, and an integrated EHR,” the researchers said.

Care must still be taken because getting all providers on the same technological page will likely require a large EHR overhaul, survey respondents cautioned.

“Get an EHR that meets the needs of those in this negotiated relationship, and be prepared for the expense and time it takes to work,” one respondent said.

Healthcare providers should work toward developing and implementing a strong management style that supports integration for improved EHR use. Having a standard set of expectations, language, and definitions will also be beneficial toward stronger care coordination and ensuring that quality patient care remains a top priority. 

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