FISHKILL, N.Y., March 1, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Farzad Mostashari, MD, ScM, National Coordinator for Health Information Technology added an unexpected twist to the HIMSS12 ONC area of the Interoperability Showcase last week by inviting all of the demonstrators in this area to try to meet a technical challenge. MedAllies stepped up to meet the challenge and did so in under an hour.
The Direct Project is a groundbreaking national effort under the auspices of the Office of the National Coordinator to fast-track electronic information exchange. MedAllies, along with health IT vendors NextGen Healthcare and Greenway Medical Technologies, were in Las Vegas to demonstrate the capabilities of Direct technology in the ONC area of the HIMSS12 Interoperability Showcase.
MedAllies uses Direct as a tool to advance primary care models that emphasize care coordination and improved care transitions. The demonstration involved two clinical sites in upstate New York, Westchester Health Associates (using NextGen® Ambulatory EHR) and Prime Columbia Greene Medical Associates (using Greenway). They demonstrated a common scenario: A primary care physician (PCP) requested a patient consultation of a cardiologist, after which the cardiologist returned the consultation report to the PCP.
The demo was flawless, but Mostashari decided to have some fun. He challenged all exhibitors in the ONC area of the Interoperability Showcase to demonstrate interoperability using a system they were not demonstrating at HIMSS. In other words, they had to create that same sort of connection with a vendor that had no advance warning. Participants had one hour.
MedAllies was able (through the help of the NextGen and Allscripts team) to demonstrate health information exchange from a NextGen electronic medical record to one offered by Allscripts. It was successful on the first try, and the video here captures the immediate excitement.
In the HealthIT.gov blog, Dr. Doug Fridsma, director, Office of Standards and Interoperability and acting chief scientist, explained that the challenge was a tall order. "To demonstrate exchange with someone new is one that in the past has required a tremendous amount of planning and preparation." One day, this will be the standard, he added. "[W]e look forward to a time when this type of exchange will be not just a special challenge on a special occasion, but the norm for getting information to those that need it most to improve health and health care."
Blair was thrilled with the success, but not overly surprised; MedAllies has been working on this effort for more than a year. Blair is a fierce champion of the Direct Project and its ability to transform health care. There is a profound need -- and therefore, a demand -- for Direct because "physicians need information as patients transition across care environments," he said. "It represents a totally new way of doing business."
MedAllies, founded in 2001, has extensive experience with EHR implementations and workflow redesign to improve clinical care. It provides unmatched expertise in health information exchange and Direct services. MedAllies operates the THINC eXchange, an HIE designed to increase the completeness of information at the point of care, improve care coordination and standardize quality and public health reporting in New York's Hudson Valley. MedAllies has provided Direct services since the Direct Project's inception and has several pilot sites in New York State. MedAllies' Direct HISP Solution is a tool to advance primary care models that emphasize care coordination and improved care transitions. To learn more, visit www.medallies.com. Issue briefs—including three on the Direct Project—are available at www.hudsonvalleyinitiative.com/press-kit.html.