Recently, a friend was telling me about a seven-hour drive from Pennsylvania to Massachusetts whereby she traveled across six states: PA, NJ, NY, CT, RI and MA in that order. When she said, “Without that E-ZPass, it would have added another 45 minutes to an already long and tiring trip, and probably have gotten aggravated, wasting gas, sitting in line, looking for correct change, etc. Instead, it was smooth sailing; I just breezed through every toll thanks to my E-ZPass. I was amazed the same E-ZPass worked in all six states, regardless of which sate I was in.”

It was her last statement that got me thinking. You see, when you eat, sleep and drink “interoperability” for a living, as I do, my technology antenna perks up when I hear yet another scenario where technology makes workflows more efficient, or in this case, “traffic flows. “ In fact, that’s exactly what interoperability should mean in healthcare. When providers can seamlessly share data, it’s like they have an E-ZPass® for that patient record, even when those providers are using disparate systems and EHR platforms. What could be simpler?

Data sharing across barriers  We are in the midst of a massive shift in healthcare; one that requires healthcare providers to change how they practice medicine, run their practices, and manage their patients. With the emphasis on improving care quality, measuring and reporting on outcomes that meet high industry mandates, and reducing the cost of care delivery, providers cannot afford to operate solo. This is even more important as we shift to value- based reimbursement systems where healthcare providers will be compensated based on outcomes rather than volume of patient encounters.

To meet these goals, providers need to be able to share important clinical information about each patient – across multiple care settings and between disparate systems. With collaborative care and ACO delivery models becoming the “new normal” in healthcare, providers need a flexible, enterprise-wide, interoperability platform.

NextGen® Share makes interoperability “E-Z”  NextGen Healthcare and Mirth®, its sister company, launched NextGen® Share (Share) almost a year ago. As a national health information service provider (HISP), Share allows physicians to send encrypted health data directly to trusted recipients via the Internet using Direct messaging. With secure connectivity between NextGen Healthcare and non-NextGen Healthcare providers, Share features a searchable provider directory and message translation between supported formats. That means providers can exchange clinical data files such as Consolidated-Clinical Document Architecture (C-CDA) files and attachments such as referral request letters, intake notes, images, and more. Data can be transmitted between peers, practices, and health systems locally and nationally across multiple technology platforms.

NextGen Share is already changing the way providers think about interoperability. It used to be a massively complex project just to setup a simple point-to-point interface. Now, with NextGen Share, providers can quickly and easily exchange data with any other Direct-ready provider.

Hitting the Goal Remember, the goal of collaborative care is to develop an efficient, coordinated system of patient care that ensures patients are receiving the most appropriate personalized treatment in the most efficient and cost effective manner possible. While actively engaging patients and caregivers, this level of care coordination enables providers, payers, and patients to connect electronically to effectively collaborate to mitigate the risk of errors and improve care quality. It also allows caregivers to manage various patient populations, including those with chronic illnesses. Remember, these patients are typically the highest utilizers of healthcare services and, therefore, the most costly.

Get connected with NextGen Share NextGen Share helps providers to overcome the most pressing and difficult challenges that providers typically have with interoperability. As an easy and seamless solution,

Share works within the normal clinical workflow to provide actionable data for referrals, all with just a few clicks. By finding connected providers and organizations on the network, Share enables providers to compose and exchange referrals with clinical documents and track these transactions for their Meaningful Use stage 2 attestation, i.e. core measure #15, Transitions of Care.

Onboarding is “E-Z.” It’s FREE to NextGen Healthcare clients as part of the NextGen® Ambulatory EHR and is covered under clients’ current maintenance contract.

Attend our collaborative care webinar on Friday, November 21, 3:00 PM EST