Electronic Communications Across Provider Settings (New Hampshire)

Summary:

The Electronic Communications Across Provider Settings (ECAPS) project examined how health information technology (health IT) can improve the quality of patient care and increase communication across diverse provider settings. Project planning occurred in two rural settings. In the Concord area, teams met to discuss how critical personal information could be synchronized among a variety of health care settings operating in the Concord community. The settings included Concord Hospital, Concord Regional Visiting Nurse Association, Riverbend Mental Health, and a number of physician offices. The planning teams concluded that patient information documented in one electronic medical record (EMR) (e.g., new medication prescribed) must be distributed to other EMRs where it would be accepted and added to the local record. The act of capturing, distributing, and inputting data would be as unobtrusive as possible, limiting the amount of effort expended by people. The proposed solution would automate the exchange of information between EMRs, except where human intervention is desirable (e.g., determining what data is saved in the EMR patient chart). Planning also occurred among six rural community health centers throughout New Hampshire. The plan was to allow the multiple health center sites to link data from their perspective electronic medical records into a centrally located data collection system at the University of New Hampshire. This aggregated data would provide information on the health of vulnerable populations (underinsured and uninsured) and identify areas where prevention could improve health outcomes. This central repository would also serve as a mechanism to implement a disease management registry.

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