Doylestown Hospital in the Philadelphia area received the 2010 Microsoft Health Users Group (MS-HUG) Innovation Award for Best Use of HIE and Interoperability and was named a Stage 6 Hospital by HIMSS in early March. The 208-bed community-focused hospital, however, is not resting on its laurels.
The next phase of its health IT connectivity initiative continues building on the vision of Doylestown Hospital to share patient information with community physicians in the vested interest of quality care.
The journey toward interoperability began with the understanding that 70 percent of care occurs outside of the hospital, said CIO Rick Lang. In order to help community physicians provide quality of care, Doylestown Hospital developed a strategy around the seamless transfer of care data.
The hospital, which serves the northern suburban communities of Philadelphia, including Bucks and Montgomery Counties in Pennsylvania and Hunterdon and Mercer Counties in New Jersey, enabled community physicians to connect to its NextGen Practice Management system. Both its practice management and EHR systems are NextGen Healthcare. In 2008, the hospital deployed the NextGen Health Information Exchange and launched the Doylestown Clinical Network.
The Bucks County Physician Hospital Alliance is a partnership between the nearly 400 members of the Doylestown Independent Practice Association and Doylestown Hospital. While the hospital is the supporter and driver of the HIE, the independent community physicians on Doyelstown Hospital’s staff are the primary users.
To achieve critical mass, the next step is clinical integration of community physicians’ nonNextGen EHRs with the hospital’s EHR system, as well as implementation of its Clinical Care Document interface, Lang said.
With respect to federal incentives, the hospital is sitting pretty. As a Stage 6 hospital, Doylestown will likely have an easier time compared to other healthcare organizations meeting meaning use criteria once they are finalized.
Currently, the Governor’s Office of Health Care Reform is responsible for establishing a statewide HIE, which will eventually connect to the NHIN. “It positions us well,” Lang said, of the Doylestown Clinical Network’s ability to tap into the statewide HIE. “We will be more ready than others,” he said.