The Future of Care Coordination

By Tina Joros, vice president and general manager, Open Business Unit, Allscripts Healthcare; part of the HIMSS Interoperability Showcase™ initiative

The HIMSS Interoperability Showcase, part of the HIMSS Global Conference & Exhibition, demonstrates interoperability – the ability for different technology systems to communicate – in real-time with actual products in the marketplace. The following guest post shares the impact seamless data exchange can have on patients, providers and caregivers.

Tina Joros

As part of our participation in the HIMSS Interoperability Showcase™, Allscripts has been working closely with other health IT companies to push the boundaries of what’s possible in interoperability. We’ll be part of several demonstration use cases that will deliver innovative workflows that have never been done before, including tightly integrated care planning for a fictional patient named Betsy.

In this use case scenario, Betsy is a realistically complex patient with multiple chronic conditions, including kidney disease, congestive heart failure, depression and diabetes. She sees several different care providers – including an endocrinologist, nephrologist and mental health professionals – who have each created a variety of care plans for her.

Having multiple care plans raises important questions for her care team that a successful integration can help address, such as:

  • How will we identify any discrepancies across care plans? Across Betsy’s records, we see 12 conditions and three separate care plans, involving many provider organizations and services. To view a comprehensive care plan will require exchanging information – using FHIR resources and applications programming interfaces (APIs) – through an integration server.
  • How do we reconcile medication lists and check for potential adverse drug events? If Betsy’s endocrinologist has prescribed opioids for neuropathy and her mental health provider has prescribed an anti-anxiety medication for late onset post-traumatic stress disorder, clinical decision support can send an alert that there is a possible contraindication. Betsy can get this information on her mobile app and share it with her providers.
  • How can we better involve the patient as an integral member of the care team? Betsy can use a mobile app while receiving treatment to know who’s on her care team. She can retrieve a consolidated patient-facing care plan and receive specific instructions, such as “Walk 5,000 steps today” or “Enter your blood pressure.” The app can guide her through accomplishing those activities and send the results back to the integration server.
  • How does the patient provide consent to share information with members of the care team? Betsy can view and define her consent directives in her care plan, as well as monitor who has access to her data. She can even include family members as part of her care team. If she chooses, she can also restrict access to sensitive health records, ensuring she is able to exercise her HIPAA right of access directive.

Everyone knows someone like Betsy. We all know patients who have more complex conditions than a single disease.

What makes this use case different and exciting is that we believe it emphasizes going beyond a single instance of treatment and more closely models a real-world, chronic-care scenario. These technology pieces have existed separately, but the integration shows what can be accomplished when multiple vendors leverage current health IT standards to focus on data sharing for the benefit of patients.

This is a dynamic care plan that is the future of care coordination, replacing the current state of static, disconnected care plans. This type of collaboration will deliver the more interoperable future we’ve all been waiting for.

Sponsored content. The views and opinions expressed in this blog or by commenters are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of HIMSS or its affiliates.


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