Trends

The patient-centered medical neighborhood

As the name suggests, the medical neighborhood refers to the entire spectrum of settings in which a patient might receive care–primary, specialty, hospital, emergency department, long-term, mental health and home care–and participants facilitate patient-centered, coordinated and informed care across the continuum.

The patient-centered medical neighborhood supports collaboration across settings. Being part of a medical neighborhood requires communicating with clinical partners. That’s where MedAllies Direct Solutions™ comes in.

The Direct technology standard established to meet Stage 2 Meaningful Use  requirements for transitions of care allows a clinician to push pertinent clinical information out of his own EHR system into the EHR of the patient’s next provider. The recipient clinician receives critical information relevant to the specific transition of care–directly into her own EHR.

Using EHR interoperability facilitates the flow of necessary information to providers caring for the same patient, allowing them to better communicate with each other and coordinate the patient’s care.

A new way to communicate

For many organizations, Promoting Interoperability represents a significant change from how they have implemented health IT in the past. Becoming part of a medical neighborhood requires not only internal IT implementation and practice transformation, but also participating in efforts that extend across an entire health care delivery community.

That’s why MedAllies emphasizes clinician onboarding–working directly with you through a three-track, three-phase process.

MedAllies also helps organizations identify clinical trading partners with whom the organization can exchange information.

Some neighbors aren’t ready or eligible to participate in promoting Interoperability, but you can still communicate with them. They can use MedAllies Mail™. Part of MedAllies’ Direct Solutions™, MedAllies Mail provides a secure method for providers to communicate with health care organizations that are paper-based or don’t have 2015 CEHRT systems.

The need to coordinate patient care across the care continuum is one of the fundamental health care lessons to emerge from the past decade. By helping build medical neighborhoods, MedAllies Direct Solutions supports better care coordination, allowing providers to improve care and earn incentives under the Quality Payment Program.

We play well with others

The MedAllies connectivity model truly plays well with others–it crosses all provider types and locations, from small practices to integrated delivery networks. By connecting providers with certified EHR systems nationwide, MedAllies can address real-world health care gaps, specifically the lack of communication and care coordination across care transitions.

The Direct Trusted Agent Accreditation Program (DTAAP) validates and supports compliance with Direct. MedAllies’ DTAAP accreditation assures that MedAllies meets the highest standards in data privacy and security. The Electronic Healthcare Network Accreditation Commission (EHNAC), a non-profit standards development organization and accrediting body, partnered with DirectTrust to create a national accreditation program for health information “trusted agent” service providers, including health information service providers (HISPs), certificate authorities (CAs) and registration authorities (RAs). This combined accreditation validates technical, security, trust and business practices, and ensures HISP-to-HISP interoperability among trusted agents.

Reach is identical for all EHNAC/DTAAP-accredited networks. Our triple accreditation assures physicians that your Direct-enabled system complies with MU2 requirements. Any provider organization can communicate with any other provider organization if both have certified EHR technology and use an accredited network.

Interoperability and accreditation

True interoperability–a requirement for Promoting Interoperability and the patient-centered medical neighborhood–remains more theory than practice. Electronic health records grow more sophisticated and robust each year, but separate systems often don’t speak the same language. It has almost become a cliché to call what seems so simple–interoperability of electronic health records–the Holy Grail of health IT: long sought, but never found.

Interoperability facilitates the flow of necessary information to the providers caring for the same patient, allowing them to better communicate with each other and coordinate the patient’s care. Industry leaders and policymakers have made it a focus, but it remains a slow process. A recent Agency for Healthcare and Research and Quality report notes that currently, “large-scale interoperability amounts to little more than replacing fax machines with the electronic delivery of page-formatted medical records.”

But that’s not the case with MedAllies and its partners.

MedAllies Direct Solutions™ provides a simple, secure, scalable, standards-based way for participants to send authenticated, encrypted health information directly to known, trusted recipients via the Internet–an approach that will work across all 2015 certified EHR vendor systems. By connecting providers with certified EHR systems nationwide, MedAllies can address real-world health care gaps, specifically the lack of communications and care coordination across care transitions.

MedAllies Direct Solutions allows a clinician to push pertinent clinical information out of his own EHR system into the EHR of the clinician who will care for the patient next. The recipient clinician receives critical information relevant to the specific transition of care–directly into her own EHR.