Healthcare Standards and HIEs in the News in 2012

It's hard to believe 2012 is coming to a close. It seems that just last week we were prepping for RSNA. Our annual company holiday party happened last weekend and, just like that, it feels like 2012's final chapter has ended and everyone is already writing 2013 on their checks and working on Q1 goals and objectives.

Just as natural as it is for organizations at the end of each year to look back and reevaluate tactics and achievements, December is also the time for obligatory year-end lists on every blog and publication on the web. Some very exciting things happened in health IT in 2012: Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act and all the quality of care provisions it contains; Meaningful Use Stage 2 named CCD as the standard for clinical data exchange; accountable care organizations were planted throughout the country; Corepoint Connect, our user group conference, was a great success; and Regina Holliday graced us with her presence and passion.

Another thing we are particularly happy with is our ability to contribute to the evolving knowledge base on healthcare standards and their use in health data exchange. During 2012, Corepoint Health was interviewed for six different articles published in Healthcare IT News. Following is a recap of each.

5 keys to getting your HIE capabilities up and running​, Jan. 2012

Sonal Patel, our VP of client services, suggested five keys to getting your HIE up and running.

1. Have a strategy in place.

Ask yourself about the surrounding market, the environment, and what approach you want to take to the market.

2. Pursue education.

Learn about the standards used, how and HIE operates and what it means to exchange data using the standards and IHE profiles.

3. Keep workflow in mind.

Understand that workflow encompasses what kind of data you have, how you’re going to deliver it, and the architecture in place.

4. Be flexible.

Having a tool of some kind, especially in the world of integration and interface engines, serves a host of benefits in terms of simplifying integration.

5. Be patient and thorough.

Understanding the market strategy and putting the people, workflows, and technology in place to support that strategy is the key to HIE success.

8 common questions about HL7, April 201​2

Rob Brull, product manager at Corepoint Health, answered eight common questions about HL7.

1. What is HL7?

2. What is the difference between HL7 version 2 and HL7 version 3?

3. What are Z segments?

4. What is an ADT message?

5. What is an ORM message?

6. What is an ORU message?

7. What are HL7 separator characters?

8. What are HL7 escape sequences?

I don't need to post a summary of each of those to the HL7 pros who read this blog... especially if you have taken the time to browse our HL7 Glossary.

6 must-haves for effective customer support in health IT, May 2012

Sonal and former customer Cathy Wickern outlined six keys for effective customer support in health IT.

1. A knowledgeable support team.

Training for new recruits is key and should range from product training to soft skills training, and from training in the classroom to one-on-one with mentors.

2. Responsiveness.

Prior to purchasing an enterprise-level application, use a vendor's support services, call existing customers, and read customer feedback provided in reports, such as in KLAS research.

3. The ability to listen and understand.

To understand the profession, the market, and customers, health IT vendors need to walk in the customers' shoes and look at any situation from their perspective.

4. Being an extension of the IT team.

Good customer support should be like another layer of IT support for customers.

5. Helping during emergencies.

Speaking to support within 15 to 30 minutes is a reasonable amount of time. Support personnel should record the information about the problem correctly and be able to troubleshoot and fix what happened as quickly as possible.

6. Offering peace of mind during major projects.

The vendor's implementation and project team should understand the full scope of the project in advance, including what's previously worked so key aspects of the system can be maintained.

5 things to know about CCD, July 2012

Rob spoke about CCD and how it will impact organizations' Meaningful Use efforts.

1. What exactly is a CCD document?

CCD stands for Continuity of Care Document and is based on the HL7 CDA architecture.

2. What is the difference between a CCD document and a CCR document?

The CCD owes its existence to CCR and CDA. The CCR started out as a three-page paper document, which was used in patient care referrals.

3. Does a CCD offer the complete medical record?

CCD is intended to include only the information that is critical to effectively continue care. This snapshot of information is broken across 17 different sections.

4. What is the main purpose of a CCD?

Its primary purpose is for exchange — specifically in the context of a patient being transferred from one care setting to another.

5. Can a provider or patient use or view a CCD document without special software?

One of the most important characteristics of a CCD is that it must be human-readable using any standard Web browser.

6 things to know about Consolidated CDA, Aug. 2012

Here, Rob discussed details of Consolidated CDA.

1. Why Consolidated CDA?

Consolidated CDA aims to organize all the documentation in one place.

2. What is the ‘Consolidated’ part of Consolidated CDA?

"Consolidated" refers to the development of a single implementation guide that he says can be the single source of truth.

3. How are templates used in the Consolidated CDA standard?

The templates are defined at three levels: document, section and entry. ...I recommend clicking the link for the thorough description.

4. How many different types of documents are included in Consolidated CDA?

Nine.

5. What specifically did the proposed rule for Meaningful Use Stage 2 refer to?

The proposed (not adopted, CCD was the adopted standard) Meaningful Use Stage 2 rule referred to the adoption of solely the Consolidated CDA standard for summary care records.

6. Is Consolidated CDA really new?

From a documentation standpoint, yes; the CCD document in particular is now much easier to understand, implement, and analyze.