Electronic Health Records

Adoption & Implementation News

How does provider-developer collaboration improve health IT?

By Kyle Murphy, PhD

How does provider-developer collaboration improve health IT, particularly the adoption and integration of new technologies into a healthcare organization’s or provider’s EHR system? That is the question the New York Digital Health Accelerator (NYDHA) is attempting to answer in bringing together top providers, developers, and investors together in New York City.

Last week, the inaugural class of the NYDHA was announced jointly by the New York eHealth Collaborative (NYeC) and the Partnership Fund for New York City, the two organizations behind the NYDHA.

The nation’s largest-funded healthcare IT accelerator program with $4.2 million in investments has provided a unique opportunity to improve the design and implementation of health IT by bringing new perspectives into the healthcare industry.

“Working with the developers has been a great experience because it’s the Rashomon experience,” Steven Davidson, MD, SVP and CMIO of Maimonides Medical Center, told EHRintelligence during the NYDHA Demo Day. “Many different perspectives of the healthcare system — none of them singular, all of them contributing. The integration aspects are challenging and not getting easier as system requirements continue to evolve.”

For Davidson and his organization, the NYDHA has come to represent another opportunity to improve its efforts to engage its patients and communities more broadly through innovative partnerships with developers Avado and MedCPU, two of the Accelerator’s eight-member inaugural class.

Avado has developed a platform for communicating, tracking, and managing health information securely. MedCPU’s offering, Advisor, reads and analyzes physician notes as well as structured EHR data to provide clinical decision support.

“Personally, I’m an innovator. I’m an emergency physician by training and background, and while I’ve never been an entrepreneur, I’ve always been an intrapreneur,” continued Davidson.  “Working with these toolsets through our GSI Health partner was the best way to integrate the functionality we needed both in the intelligent advice from MedCPU and in the patient GPS that [Avado CEO and Co-founder] Dave Chase talks about through that platform that GSI Health delivered.”

What remains for Maimonides is the implementation of these new tools and services. “Now we are moving Avado into the hospital and as a clinical leader I have on my agenda to begin exploring how to move the MedCPU tool into the direct clinical environment as well.” And this implementation also requires the leadership at Maimonides to devise a strategy that ensures both a successful integration with current EHR and health IT systems and full-fledged support and adoption by clinicians:

The challenge is increasingly taken care of by people sorting themselves into the group that’s saying, “I’m not even going to try because I’m close enough to retirement,” or the group that is trying and looking to get the meaningful use money. And that’s in terms of their office practice space electronic health record for voluntary medical staff. As far as the hospital in concerned, it’s full speed ahead. We’re a leader; we’ve always been a leader bringing this technology to bear for patients. I know that clinicians, nurses, and doctors alike at the hospital are deeply engaged and totally active in adopting the technology and making it useful to us.

Currently, the NYDHA is making preparations for the next class of developers and providers. As always, the success of the next wave will depend on sincere collaboration between innovators in both technology and medicine.

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