Main Line Health among first health systems to exchange clinical information with other health system/health plan members of HSX, in demo event in Atlantic City, adding to recent milestones for regional exchange
(Philadelphia, Pa.) – Main Line Health (MLH) is among the first hospital/health system members of HealthShare Exchange of Southeastern Pennsylvania (HSX) ready to receive and transmit clinical information on patients in the region’s health information exchange. Main Line Health recently partnered with HSX and another member hospital/health system and member health plan to demonstrate the new capability to the health information technology community.
The Delaware Valley is quickly stepping into a health care future that takes advantage of electronic health information exchange between hospitals, physicians and other health care providers, and insurers to improve care and reduce costs. In the second half of 2014, HSX—a nonprofit formed by the area’s insurers and health systems—reached exciting developmental milestones that are allowing health care providers and payers of greater Philadelphia to securely share information on care of individual patients.
To demonstrate the new initiative, Main Line Health teamed with HSX for a look at this aspect of the future of health care delivery on November 13th, 2014, in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The Delaware Valley and New Jersey Health Information Management and Systems Society (DV-NJ HIMSS) carried the theme “Empowering the New Healthcare Era” into its regional meeting, where the HSX collaboration took the floor at the interoperability showcase with a live example of admission and discharge services that health care providers will soon use. Attendees saw and learned about health information exchange between a health insurer/health plan and two of the Philadelphia area’s health systems, using a system that will improve everyone’s care within the next few years.
The demonstration began with exchange between Main Line Health and HSX member Independence Blue Cross (IBC), to gather recent care information on a test patient admitted to a Main Line Health emergency department and identify the patient’s primary care provider. HSX also facilitated transfer of the patient’s discharge summary from Main Line Health to the patient’s primary doctor, affiliated in this case scenario with Crozer-Keystone Health System. The patient’s doctor and her office staff received the Main Line Health message into their office system and discussed the use of the discharge document in contacting the patient for follow-up. Through this system, doctors and other health care providers know about patients’ admissions to or discharge from a health care setting, as well as the patient’s diagnosis, treatment, and needed transitional care.
“It was great to participate in this demo, and feel the excitement around it,” says Harm Scherpbier, MD, Vice President and Chief Medical Information Officer for Main Line Health. “It represents a coming together of a lot of efforts in recent years to get hospital-health systems and payers talking, in terms of sharing patient info between medical centers and offices, and leveraging the care intelligence that resides with health care insurers.” Scherpbier serves on the Clinical Advisory Committee of the HSX board of trustees, and Karen Thomas, Main Line Health’s Senior Vice President/Chief Information Officer, serves as the board’s Vice Chair.
Inter-system sharing of patient data via HSX started with the University of Pennsylvania Health System and Crozer-Keystone Health System in 2014, and now includes a half-dozen health systems and 23 hospitals. Other HSX health plan members, including Amerihealth Caritas and Health Partners Plans, will also participate contribute claims-based clinical history and care-team data, and eventually receiving care updates.
“I’ve been thankful to be able to take advantage of discharge information facilitated by HSX, which gathers all of the hospital results, including tests, and sends it straight into our inbox in our electronic health record system at our practice office,” says John S. Potts, DO, a primary care physician with Clinical Care Associates of the University of Pennsylvania, and Clinical Assistant Professor of Family Medicine and Community Health at the University of Pennsylvania Health System. “I like to review this information as soon as I receive it, and then include it in the patient’s chart for easy access. We can’t wait days or weeks for this kind of information, as we used to in the past, because it helps us right away to adjust the patient’s follow-up care. I see us using this a lot more in the future.”
Says Daniel Wilt, HSX’s Senior Director of Information Technology and Chief Information Security Officer, “We are glad to be scaling the exchange up to continue to cover the health care system in the Philadelphia area and beyond. We want to get clinical data sharing as fully into use with our members as we can, as soon as possible.”
As of this month, more than 5,200 physicians are able to use the exchange to send and receive information across the region. HSX has enabled member hospitals to transfer patient discharge information and other summaries of care to primary care providers and specialists. Monthly message volume on the HSX system increased more than 15-fold between June 2014 and November 2014.
Main Line Health is partnering with HSX and fellow members of the exchange to demonstrate a better health care future for us all. Please see this video from the recent Atlantic City event.
About HealthShare Exchange
HealthShare Exchange of Southeastern Pennsylvania, Inc. (HSX) is the health information organization that is planning, developing, implementing, and operating the regional health information exchange (HIE) for the five-county region of Southeastern Pennsylvania. Incorporated as a nonprofit organization, HSX was formed as a collaboration among major health care stakeholders, including health plans and acute-care hospitals across Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia counties to enable the electronic exchange of patient information to improve patient outcomes and to manage and lower health care costs.