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OCHIN Partnership to Improve EHR Use for Epic, NextGen Users

New tools will streamline EHR use and reduce administrative burden for providers using Epic and NextGen EHR systems.

OCHIN will leverage new EHR-integrated tools to improve EHR use.

Source: Thinkstock

By Kate Monica

- Oregon Community Health Information Network (OCHIN) will integrate electronic consultation services (eConsult) into its Epic and NextGen EHR systems in an effort to streamline EHR use for providers and enable single sign on capabilities.

OCHIN will partner with eConsult platform providers RubiconMD and Safety Net Connect (SNC) to cut administrative burden by reducing the number of clicks per day for providers and cutting down on EHR use.

The eConsult platforms will also allow OCHIN users to have access to web-based care coordination solutions designed to improve health data exchange among clinicians. Primary care physicians can use the technology to send a secure message and asynchronously consult a clinical specialist about a patient’s condition.

Specialist responses generated through eConsult are generally returned within 48 hours. By enabling more efficient communication between primary care physicians and specialists, OCHIN providers can reduce patient wait times for referrals. 

"The integration of these eConsult platforms is a natural addition to our technology portfolio,” said OCHIN CEO Abby Sears. "We're dedicated to finding innovative technologies that make a meaningful difference for patients and the providers who care for them.”

“By measurably improving real-time data exchange, collaboration between systems and providers, and sustainably increasing access to care, SNC and RubiconMD help us fulfill our mission,” she continued.

By integrating eConsult services into its existing Epic and NextGen EHR systems, OCHIN can help to improve provider communication and care delivery for the more than 500 healthcare organizations part of its network.

"We are excited to be selected as a strategic partner of OCHIN," said CEO and co-founder of SNC Keith Matsutsuyu.

"Being a trusted partner of an international leader in health care technology innovation is truly an honor and serves as further validation of progress towards our own mission to provide transformative solutions that increase equity and quality of care for underserved, safety net populations,” he continued.

The Oregon-based nonprofit health information and innovation network includes more than 10,000 clinicians across the country. OCHIN is a learning organization that leverages innovation and collaboration to improve patient health outcomes and reduce healthcare organization costs. 

"This partnership is something our respective clients have been asking for and we are all too happy to work with OCHIN to bring to life their vision for improved workflow," said RubiconMD CEO and co-founder Gil Addo.

"We have long believed that transforming health care delivery will require collaboration between best of breed services, and this partnership represents a commitment to that ethos,” he continued. “Safety net providers will now have the ability to seamlessly access a top network of specialists within minutes, improving care for their patients while reducing costs."

OCHIN has steadily been working to integrate new types of health data and health IT into its network in recent years. In 2017, the non-profit integrated standardized social determinants of health (SDH) data collection and presentation into its Epic EHR to improve patient and population health outcomes in community health centers.

Researchers worked with 27 different community health center stakeholders to develop ways to optimize SDH data collection, present the data in the Epic EHR, and integrate the information into physician workflows.

Additionally, researchers developed EHR-based tools designed to help community health centers identify and address SDH-related health concerns. The ultimate goal of the project was to create SDH-related physician workflows aligned with clinical referral processes.

Participants in the study also developed EHR tools for reviewing SDH needs, identifying referral options, ordering referrals, and tracking past referrals.

These and other OCHIN projects help to improve the quality of care specifically for underserved, uninsured, and vulnerable patient populations. 

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