Michigan’s Northern Physicians Organization Partners with eMedApps to Focus the Care Conversation, Increase Revenues and Reduce ER Overuse

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NPO's adoption of eMedApps’ CareConnectivity™ Platform brings providers, hospitals and social workers into the continuity-of-care conversation to reduce ER overuse, increase care delivery revenues and build a more automated and comprehensive patient engagement program.

The Rise of Emergency Department "Frequent Flyers"

The Rise of Emergency Department "Frequent Flyers"

"Prior to working with eMedApps, we had no centralized notification system and our biggest IT challenge was matching patients with their data from nine different EHR systems,"

Nationally, up to 50% of Emergency Room visits are non-urgent, creating a hefty $32 billion*, and rising, cost-of-care bubble fueled by continuity of care “blind spots.” Michigan's Northern Physicians Organization (NPO) moved to shed light on these care coordination blind spots. NPO partnered with eMedApps to deploy an innovative, real-time notification and analytics system designed to connect patient care delivered in area ERs to primary care providers (PCPs) and ancillary care providers including mental health centers and social workers.

Improved Care Visibility Increases Provider Revenue and Reduces Care Costs

Leveraging eMedApps’ CareBridge™ interface engine, real-time notification of care delivery and transition allows providers to proactively engage in care management and patient follow-up. Channeling patients to the appropriate care provider improves practice efficiency and reduces Emergency Room over use.

“CareBridge determines providers that are linked to patients through a matching process and calculates visit statistics e.g., 3 ER visits in last 6 months, etc.,” noted Ed Worthington, IT Director, Northern Physicians Organization. “This level of visit information helps practices identify patients who should be seen in the clinic, not the ER. Routing patients to the optimal care facility for primary and follow-up visits improves care delivery, optimizes practice revenue and improves overall patient satisfaction.”

Care Management Beyond the Clinic Walls

Physicians engaged in care management with their patients beyond clinic walls are better equipped to foster lifestyle choices and care plans that benefit a patient's overall health. By setting up notification services to primary care physicians and social service workers, NPO enables a better understanding of how patients utilize health services.

NPO uses eMedApps’ CareBridge interface engine to unlock and unify the patient data held in nine disparate EHR systems. The solution incorporates a notification system to alert providers when their patients have hospital or ER visits across 90% of the facilities in the state. Notifications provide an immediate risk stratification report via the ADT Quick Analytics ™ tool allowing for timely proactive follow up by providers.

"Prior to working with eMedApps, we had no centralized notification system and our biggest IT challenge was matching patients with their data from nine different EHR systems," commented Mr. Worthington. "Together, we developed a mechanism to automatically create a unique identifier for patients, regardless of the hospital or hospitals they visit, and match it to the practice demographic files we upload to CareBridge regularly. The solution allows us to move from simple event notifications to event notifications plus targeted analytics."

The solution also brings social workers into the care conversation to promote deeper out-patient engagement and monitoring. Currently three Community Mental Health agencies (CMHs) are receiving notifications enabling social workers to identify and reduce the risk of treating drug-seeking patients.

Streamlined IT Management and Maintenance

Notification and tracking solutions must also free IT teams from data management burdens. Mr. Worthington notes, "On the backend, eMedApps simplified maintenance for us. Once a system like this is implemented, routine data maintenance is an enormous burden. Working together we streamlined the administrative maintenance to just a few data tables – for hospital visit types, users, and user subscriptions – and we’ve automated the load of the physician practice/facility patient demographic files."

For more information on the NPO solution, a case study is available for download on the eMedApps website.

*Source: A report of frequent Users of Hospital Emergency Departments in South Carolina, South Carolina Public Health Institute and HealthIT.gov

About Northern Physicians Organization
Northern Physicians Organization is a physician-led group aligning doctors’ processes, communications, best practices and ideas since 1984. They work with over 520 physician members in Northern Michigan. Founded by local physicians, NPO enhances the practice experience by providing support, information and education to ensure that all practices run smoothly and efficiently.

About eMedApps
Founded in 1999, eMedApps delivers patient-centric and vendor-neutral integration, interface, and business continuity solutions to healthcare delivery organizations across the U.S., enabling improved quality of care, increased EHR efficiency, and interoperability within and across the connected enterprise. With an ONC-ACB Certified Interface Engine and extensive industry expertise, eMedApps’ Care Connectivity Platform™ is compatible with all major EHR vendors. Headquartered in Schaumburg, Ill. eMedApps has offices in San Diego, Houston, and Boston. Visit http://www.emedapps.com or call (847) 490-6869 to learn more. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

CareBridge is a trademark of eMedApps. All rights reserved.

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Kathy Truesdell
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