Interoperability Defines the Future of Healthcare

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Randy Hyun By Randy Hyun 
General Manager, Extended Care Solutions Group, McKesson

Home Health Interoperability“All healthcare is local.” We’ve all heard that phrase used to describe the nature of healthcare. And it’s certainly true in the case of care delivered in the home, home health, hospice and personal care services.

Even in the midst of health care reform and the Accountable Care Act, healthcare will remain local, but it will have to break out of its current silos. As new care models transform the healthcare industry, clinical interoperability is critical to the care process and delivery systems as we all strive to achieve the Triple Aim of better patient outcomes, better population health and reduced costs.

Home Health, Hospices and Personal Care services have never felt the need to be more connected. The health care system is seeking to collaborate in real- or near-real-time and looking to their information systems to enable and support them, regardless of whether an agency is free-standing or part of a health system.

This aspiration brings with it a number of challenges, not the least of which is the immaturity of electronic health information exchanges. Yet it is clear, with the increased emphasis on care coordination that’s required to participate in ACOs and other emerging care models, providers must have well adapted, reliable and flexible ways to share information among partners.

The release of McKesson Homecare™ v13.0, which brings the use of a standard clinical terminology and evidence-based practices to the bedside, fully supports the goals of interoperability using McKesson Home Health Connect™ and McKesson Hospice Connect™ to enable the sharing of demographic and clinical information bi-directionally with the care teams, regardless of whether those care team members are a part of the same health system or not.

McKesson Home Health Connect and McKesson Hospice Connect are truly game-changers for homecare agencies. Clinical interoperability is becoming crucial, so agencies need to access, share and manage patient medical data in disparate systems.

Not only do McKesson Home Health Connect and McKesson Hospice Connect allow agencies to share information with partners, they allow secure access with private, state and regional health information exchanges (HIEs). The web-based solutions store data in a secure environment and feature auditing protections that track users and allow patients to specify what records they choose to share.

With McKesson Home Health Connect and McKesson Hospice Connect, clinicians can look at multiple continuity of care documents (CCDs) either separately or as a single, integrated document that’s aggregated from the available CCDs. Bringing this information together provides a powerful tool for the clinician as they are determining the best course of care for the patient and facing the challenges of knowing the current problem list, allergies and medications.

McKesson Home Health Connect and McKesson Hospice Connect additionally enable patients to be engaged and participate in their own care through the personal health record that’s part of the system. The patient portal is accessible via the web with security, privacy and auditing protections. Once patients have created a personal health record, your agency can send secure email messages to individuals or broadcast messages to a pre-defined patient population.

Products such as McKesson Home Health Connect and McKesson Hospice Connect used in conjunction with home health software can help agencies stay on the cutting edge, adapt to new care environments and continue on their core mission – taking great care of their patients.

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