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 Consulate CIO Points to Data Interoperability Benefits Via New Collaboration

In a move to bring more data interoperability to its care coordination efforts, long term and post-acute care provider Consulate Health Care said it is partnering with Collective Medical to meet what has been a consistent challenge for all stakeholders in the provider community, which is to better share data on patients and residents as they transition from one care setting to another.

The two organizations said the partnership will facilitate improved care transitions across 140 of Consulate’s facilities with the tens of thousands of providers on the Collective network. With the Collective Platform, Consulate facilities will gain visibility into transitions of care, including information on when patients are observed, admitted, transferred, or discharged, and will contribute patient insights delivered in real time, supporting reduced preventable readmissions, the companies said.

Further, under new value-based purchasing models, readmissions are an even more significant concern for skilled nursing facilities. Providers failing to comply with readmission improvement benchmarks automatically receive a 2 percent cut in Medicare fee-for-service rates.

In an exclusive interview with Provider, Mark Crandall, chief information officer, Consulate, explains how data interoperability along the entire care continuum is vital in providing the best care possible to residents and potential residents.

“It is one thing to have WiFi in all buildings to allow for electronic health record [EHR] platforms, which is all very important to the operation of the building and the holistic care we give our patients, but transitions of care have always been a challenge,” he says.

By using Collective as a partner, Crandall says Consulate will have data on residents from setting to setting. “Key data will go along with the patient,” he says. This will mean that slices of data provided via Collective’s input into the Consulate EHR system (PointClickCare) will be enabled regardless of the differing systems in use at, for example, an acute-care hospital.

Crandall says lack of interoperability between different software and technical systems has been a thorny issue for the entire health care system. “EHRs don’t talk to each other very well,” he says. “But, folks like Collective tie those systems together.”

And, once those data are provided, Consulate can use them to better prepare for an incoming resident as they transition to skilled care. Knowing what the resident will need before they get there, what happened in an emergency department, for example, gives clinicians at the skilled center the information they need to provide the holistic care that Consulate prides itself on, Crandall says.

“We are talking about the right data from the right system and being able to use the data right where we need to,” Crandall says.

This can include changes in care, coverages, medical information, and a medication list. “It really is a laundry list of things … it is all about extracting more and more data,” he says.

And, with the new data capabilities from Collective, Consulate will in turn be better able to partner with its providers in the hospital or physician networks to securely release and consume data to get a full picture of the resident and patient, Crandall adds.

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