When One Plus One Yields More than Two: What Our Clients Taught Us about Integrating EHR and PHM Platforms

By Justin Neece, Chief Operation Officer, i2i Population Health

Justin NeeseWhat takes up most of your time at the office? Meetings? Watching cat videos? Not long ago, many of the senior staff at Mountain Laurel Medical Center, a Federally Qualified Health Center, knew exactly what was a drag on productivity. They were spending every waking hour generating reports. When the season for Uniform Data System (UDS) reporting came around, Mountain Laurel’s chief operating and chief marketing officers were holed up in their offices, trying to pull the necessary data from EHRs. UDS reports, which detail a variety of quality improvement and population health management metrics, are requirements for FQHC funding by the Health Resource and Services Administration.

Some of the data was inaccurate. Other data points were hard to find. To keep from repeating this frustrating and time consuming experience, Mountain Laurel quickly realized they needed to find a better way to manage this process. They reached out to i2i to help them integrate our population health platform into their current EHR, provided by NextGen.

Goodbye, frustration. Hello, true population health management. But Mountain Laurel isn’t alone. We’ve integrated our i2i population health platform into EHRs at over 700 healthcare provider locations across the country. Our clients aren’t shy about telling us what they’ve learned from this integration strategy:

  • EHRs are limited in their ability to generate uniform or consistently accurate reporting data.

    With PHM added to the mix, data is in one place, and there’s no need to sample data to verify accuracy. For Mountain Laurel, what used to occupy days on end in terms of reporting now comes down to several dedicated hours.

  • Clinicians and staff, once they trust the integration and PHM workflow, find new ways to harness data to help patients.

    The more data they have, the more insights can be gleaned from it—insights, inspires more creative ways to improve care.

  • The path to Patient Centered Medical Home certification is a lot smoother with EHR/PHM integration.

    For Chava Sonnier of Community Health Centers of Greater Dayton, there were limits to what they could get out of their EHR: It was challenging to do PHM level reporting with the EHR,” says Sonnier. “I was trying to build reports from scratch, and had trouble trying to integrate multiple pieces into a single report. i2i’s PHM tool smoothed the PCMH certification process and made PHM measures a part of their everyday life.

  • Better data begets better data.

    I2i’s fully interoperable PHM packs a triple punch with data aggregation, risk stratification and analytics; and care coordination and management. According to Laura Schroyer, quality improvement coordinator at Mountain Laurel, their next move is integrating payer and provider data along with comparing and benchmarking their population health data with others across the country.

  • They recognize the interdependence of EHR and PHM tools if they’re going to become data driven organizations.

    According to Shroyer of Mountain Laurel, organizations need both tools in order to succeed. “We use EHR and PHM to run reports on specific providers, patients, or any population within our health center. We know where we stand on measures at any given time throughout the year, and have time to prep and study the data.”

Got an EHR/PHM integration story to tell us? We’d love to hear it. Reach out to us below.

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