At a time when healthcare delivery organizations are under intense pressure to improve care quality and safety, and hold down costs, and adapt to new care delivery and reimbursement models, MemorialCare Health System has found a key to success.
Driving toward the “triple aim”
MemorialCare, serving the Los Angeles and Orange County areas in southern California, is a not-for-profit health system with six hospitals, 2,500 affiliated physicians, four award-winning specialty care “Centers of Excellence,” urgent care centers, walk-in retail clinics, imaging and laboratory sites, and ambulatory surgery centers.
MemorialCare has grown organically and by acquisition, while increasing measures of patient satisfaction and financial stability. It’s an organization focused on excellence and achieving the Institute of Healthcare Improvement’s “triple aim” of improving the patient experience of care (including quality and satisfaction), the health of populations, and reducing costs.
Meeting the challenge of change in healthcare
With its rapid acquisition of additional medical practices, laboratories, and imaging centers, MemorialCare realized that traditional interfacing between systems was no longer enough to support its business strategy. “The interface engine we had been using to integrate data into our epic EMR couldn’t keep up with the new demands we were putting on it,” says MemorialCare’s Vice President of Information Services, Steven Beal. “We needed to integrate our acquisitions faster so we could continue to offer ‘one call’ convenience to our customers.
We needed to aggregate data from many disparate sources, share that data more effectively, and establish the analytics necessary for managing population health and fundamental operations within our organization.”
- Improve care coordination
- Deliver aggregated health information into existing workflows
- Enable strategic business initiatives
MemorialCare replaced its legacy interface engine with the InterSystems HealthShare® strategic informatics platform. Within one year MemorialCare transformed and migrated 183 interfaces from 89 different applications, forming tighter overall integration with the company’s epic software. During this period the integration team gained valuable experience with HealthShare while an InterSystems implementation partner, J2 Interactive, provided development expertise and knowledge transfer.
The executive suite takes note of strategic use of HealthShare
With this successful transition to HealthShare its use is spreading quickly to address other urgent needs, including care coordination projects such as:
- Enabling bi-directional information sharing between MemorialCare’s Epic system and the NextGen EMRs used by acquired medical groups and physician practices in the community
- Automatically alerting providers to significant patient events (such as admission to the emergency department or an inpatient setting)
- Delivering care summaries to primary care providers in the community when their patients are discharged from a hospital
- Integrating MemorialCare’s acquired laboratory and radiology centers, including ordering and results reporting, with the EMRs used by MemorialCare and its affiliated physicians and medical groups
Notes MemorialCare CIO Scott Joslyn, “HealthShare enables us to support new initiatives with the speed and confidence that comes with its range of capabilities and scalability. Such agility is vital given the increasing complexity and changing nature of healthcare in this critical period of reform.”
HealthShare enables us to support new initiatives with the speed and confidence that comes with its range of capabilities and scalability.
Scott Joslyn, CIO
HealthShare is now at the core of many of MemorialCare’s strategic business and clinical toolsets that facilitate achieving the triple aim, and establishing an Accountable Care Organization. In this early stage of transformation, HealthShare for MemorialCare is aggregating data from all connected systems, in near real-time, and delivering it for the analytics necessary to measure and report on performance, make coordinated decisions on care, and drive improvements in care quality and financial results.
The platform for strategic interoperability
Having one platform for all of its interoperability needs, from simple interfacing to care coordination, community engagement, and regional and national health information exchange, has been a key to matching IT resources to business need. “Because healthcare is changing so rapidly,” says Beal, “and we’re growing so quickly, HealthShare has become more than just an interface engine for us. It’s a core business application.”