Electronic Health Records


Vermont Health Information Exchange Adds Telehealth Component

VHIE is now making certain telehealth data available to Vermont providers subscribed to the health information network to improve care quality for patients with complex conditions.

Telehealth Services

Source: Thinkstock

By Kate Monica

- An agreement between the Vermont Health Information Exchange (VHIE) and two healthcare organizations that provide telehealth services in the state now give providers connected to the statewide network access to telemonitoring data.

In a recent announcement, the operators of VHIE — Vermont Information Technology Leaders, Inc. (VITL) —that Central Vermont Home Health & Hospice (CVHHH) and the Visiting Nurse Association of Chittendon and Grand Isle Counties (VNA) have connected their telemonitoring program and systems for treating patients with complex health conditions to the state HIE. As a result, Vermont providers can now access data on complex disease states such as heart and respiratory conditions.

Telemonitors provide patients a way to measure and record their vital signs daily from home using a touchscreen tablet. The information is then wirelessly transmitted to nurses monitoring the information for changes, giving patients a sense of empowerment around their health.

 “Our home telemonitoring program is based on a co-case management model promoting care coordination between physicians and home health visiting staff, while allowing for timely education to a change in one’s health condition, improving self-management of disease process,” said CVHHH President & CEO Sandy Rousse. “Having the telemonitoring data available electronically and in real time through the VHIE allows our home visiting staff and other providers such as physicians to have access to data when and where they need it to better inform patient care and outcomes.”

Through a grant from the Vermont Health Care Innovation Project, the two healthcare organizations were able to finance a program to connect their telemonitoring programs to their existing EHR technology. VITL then stepped in to connect their EHR systems to VHIE, allowing all providers in the health information exchange to benefit from these telemonitoring systems.

With the addition of these two health organization into VHIE, all 14 Vermont hospitals, 11 federally-qualified health centers, and 155 provider locations will gain access to telemonitoring information programs.

 “For all of the benefits of telemonitoring, the data from the home monitors was locked in a system that was separate from our EHR. Now, any provider with whom we coordinate care for our patients can have access to this data, which may be crucial in making adjustments to their care plan or to their medications,” added VNA President & CEO Judy Peterson.

Remote monitoring is one of the many advantages of telehealth platforms allowing for data-driven care for optimal health outcomes.

VITL recently expanded VHIE services to provide home health agency patient encounter notifications from all participating hospitals to the PatientPing community, allowing all providers in Vermont part of the care coordination network to directly receive an average of 8,000 notifications a month.

PatientPing also recently committed to developing new healthcare application program interfaces (APIs) for CommonWell Health Alliance to approach areas of healthcare and technology including proactive notifications, life and disability care, and director-to-provider exchange.

 “We see that when the full continuum of providers work together collaboratively – emergency room, hospital, rehab provider, home health agency – patients recover safely and return home after surgery or illness much more rapidly,” said Jay Desai, CEO of PatientPing. “PatientPing is so excited to be a part of the CommonWell initiative to break down existing barriers to true care coordination with the goal of improving care quality and patient outcomes. Together, we can accelerate the movement to bring care coordination across the entire country, in an effort to improve health care quality for all.”

With the addition of telehealth data to the Vermont’s health information exchange and VITL’s recently established connection with PatientPing, hospitals in the network are benefiting from a several-pronged approach to health information technology interoperability. 



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