Asante offers its community healthcare affiliates a comprehensive program for accessing and sharing the discrete data within Epic EHR alongside the unstructured patient content managed by Lexmark Healthcare.
Asante knew seamlessly sharing patient information with affiliates would be key to better physician relationships and improved patient outcomes.
Asante Health System provides comprehensive medical care to more than 580,000 people throughout Southern Oregon and Northern California. As the largest healthcare provider in nine counties, Asante knew seamlessly sharing patient information with affiliates would be key to better physician relationships and improved patient outcomes.
Challenge: Build a Stronger Referral Network
Asante, based in Medford, Ore., wanted to strengthen and grow its referral network through affiliations with independent physician practices and community hospitals. While looking into the Epic Community Connect solution they realized they needed to share more than just the discrete data within the Epic EHR. Asante wanted to make the related, unstructured patient content more easily accessible to provide affiliates with a more complete view of patient medical histories. To accomplish this, Asante implemented Lexmark Healthcare for Community Connect alongside Epic Community Connect.
Solution: A Complete Patient Record Available to Affiliates
Using Lexmark Healthcare’s enterprise content management (ECM) solution, Asante is able to make photos, videos, images and documents from a multitude of sources available to enterprise clinicians and administrative staff from within existing EHR and ERP interfaces and workflows. This means clinicians and administrators in admissions, registration, surgery, accounts payable, purchasing and other Asante departments no longer need to search beyond their core systems for the information they need. This capability has improved staff productivity and allowed clinicians to focus more time on patient care.
The Lexmark Healthcare solution is tightly integrated with Epic via industry standards and Epic-prescribed methodologies, bundling content management functionality with the Epic shared electronic medical record. This allows Asante to offer its community healthcare affiliates a comprehensive program for accessing and sharing the discrete data within Epic EHR alongside the unstructured patient content managed by Lexmark Healthcare. Referring hospitals and clinics gain access to an integrated, complete patient record through world-class software capabilities and workflow tools they otherwise may not be able to afford on their own.
Creating a Shared Clinical Workflow
Sky Lakes Medical Center in nearby Klamath Falls, Ore., is one of the key provider organizations that refers patients to Asante. Sky Lakes has a 125-licensed-bed hospital and more than 70 providers working at 25 clinics across the region. Prior to implementation of the Lexmark Healthcare solution, there was a significant volume of paperwork that went back and forth between Asante and Sky Lakes. Today there is a shared clinical and administrative workflow. For example, inbound fax queues within Perceptive Content now index patient content directly into Epic.
Flexibility Curbs Customization
“We tried to do as little customization as possible. Our goal was to build a workflow that would accommodate the variance between the clinics but not require the delivery of specific workflow solutions for each clinic,” said Amy Millard, application analyst.
The flexibility of the Lexmark Healthcare ECM software, coupled with the knowledge and experience of the Lexmark Healthcare team, helped Asante take existing workflows and apply them at the clinic level. For example, Asante was able to take an existing workflow model related to the inbound fax queue and apply it to Sky Lakes’ workflow.
Results: ECM Improves Physician Preparation, Patient Care
“The extended content management solution has helped Asante strengthen its relationships with the physician community,” said John Hawkins, manager, ancillary applications and enterprise services ITS. “Our clinicians are now better prepared before the patient walks in for an exam because all patient documents are accessible from within the EHR. The smooth flow of information we now enjoy has also had a positive impact on patient care. Clinic patients that travel through the Cascade Mountains to receive follow-up care at Asante do not have to worry about bringing all of their information, medical histories, previous surgeries or lists of current medications with them. It is all available to us thanks to our system interoperability.”
“When a patient moves from one provider to another, the questions they are asked can seem overwhelming, especially when there is a medical emergency,” said Millard. “It really adds stress when they have to keep up with all of that information. It helps the family and puts them at ease when they realize this step has already been taken care of.”
Content Control Key to Future Success
Interoperability and seamless exchange of patient content between providers is key as the industry shifts from volume-based delivery of healthcare services to a value-based approach, supporting patient-centric and population health management models. As an early adopter of technologies for accessing, managing and sharing patient content, Asante is well-positioned for coming demands to make patient information flow more easily to the places where it is needed to enhance care delivery and outcomes.
A forward-thinking organization, Asante is one of the first Lexmark Healthcare customers to go live on the Lexmark Healthcare for Community Connect solution. “The leaders at Sky Lakes consider the project a great success. It was a smooth implementation,” said Hawkins. “The volume of business at the clinics is growing, which means the volume and variety of patient documents and other unstructured content passing between our systems will also grow. With Lexmark Healthcare’s help, we will be prepared.”
Case study supplied by Lexmark Healthcare.