When Franciscan Alliance, a 13-hospital health system serving Indiana and Illinois, migrated a 140-physician group practice to its new Epic electronic health record (EHR) system, the physicians needed to access vital signs and patient identifiers for 250,000 patients millions of records that were not part of the initial year-long data conversion project. Using interoperability technology from InterSystems, a global health information technology company, and drawing on the expertise of professional services firm EHR Evolution, Franciscan Alliance found a way to ease the transition.
The scenario is typical, at a time of intensive merger and acquisition activity in U.S. healthcare. As large health systems acquire hospitals, laboratories and physician practices and standardize on a single EHR system, the process of moving millions of patient records from legacy systems to the new EHR can be a data conversion nightmare.
Rather than converting all the legacy data at once, including potentially “dirty” data, Franciscan’s IT leaders found a way to give physicians exactly the patient data they needed, without making them toggle back and forth between systems.
The Clinician Viewer Solution
The new clinician viewer, which appears as a single button within the Epic chart review screen, gives physicians access to critical vital signs data in the context of the patient’s own electronic health record. The viewer enables the physician or medical assistant to select which of the historical records to push into the Epic EHR system to be part of the patient’s permanent health record.
Working closely with Franciscan Alliance’s IT team, EHR Evolution implemented the innovative solution in just six weeks, building on the InterSystems HealthShare® health informatics and interoperability platform. The clinical viewer was up and running prior to the Epic go-live in August 2015.
The clinical viewer provides custom filters to view the legacy data by provider, encounter date, and vitals type. Data from the prior EHR system is stored on an InterSystems Caché high-performance database and passed on-demand to the Epic EHR. Without leaving the EHR, users can securely access and select data based on their unique credentials, and all data is audited and encrypted within Caché.
“This was an excellent use of the InterSystems HealthShare platform, demonstrating a new and strikingly simple way to think of EHR data conversions. It’s not always necessary to replicate all the data all at once or one time only. This new approach allows data access ‘just in time, ’ as part of the physicians’ natural work flow,” said Jill Thompson, Manager, Application Integration Services, for Franciscan Alliance.
“EHR Evolution’s expertise in EHR implementation and optimization was invaluable to us,” Thompson added. “We worked side by side to ensure the project was completed on-time, even testing all day on the Saturday before the launch.”
“We have always believed that InterSystems’ proven healthcare informatics technology, combined with our expert implementation partners like EHR Evolution, offer a powerful combination in the service of our customers,” said Joe DeSantis, Vice President, HealthShare Platforms, for InterSystems. “The vital signs project demonstrates the value of delivering the right data to the right person at the right time.”
InterSystems (intersystems.com) is the information engine that powers some of the world’s most important applications. In healthcare, finance, government, and other sectors where lives and livelihoods are at stake, InterSystems has been a strategic technology provider since 1978. InterSystems is a privately held company headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts (USA), with offices worldwide, and its software products are used daily by millions of people in more than 100 countries.