Mount Carmel Health System Emerges as Technology Leader
1 of 30 hospitals nationally to attest to Stage 2 of Meaningful use
Columbus, Ohio - The federal government has set the bar high for the medical community to achieve requirements for using electronic patient health communications in a meaningful way. And Mount Carmel Health System in Columbus, Ohio, vaulted over that bar on July 1.
That’s the day Mount Carmel attested to what’s known as Stage 2 Meaningful Use, an increasingly demanding set of federal measures and reports that show how the health system is sharing patient health information among physicians in ways that can result in better and more coordinated care for a patient.
Only 30 hospitals or health systems have reached Stage 2 across the country, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which coordinates the Meaningful Use program that provides financial incentives for providers and eventually, penalties for noncompliance.
"We are proud our team has worked so hard to make this happen," said Richard Streck, MD, Chief Clinical Operations Officer of Mount Carmel Health System. "This is a huge accomplishment that will help our colleagues continue to provide high-quality, patient-centered care."
The Mount Carmel Health System consists of Mount Carmel East, Mount Carmel West, Mount Carmel New Albany, Mount Carmel St. Ann’s and Mount Carmel Grove City, which are part of CHE Trinity Health, the fourth largest health system in the United States.
To facilitate better care, Stage 2 requires hospitals to share timely information with doctors and other healthcare professionals who are treating you when they are transitioning a patient following a hospital stay or emergency room visit. A transition can occur between the hospital and a physician’s office, home health, rehabilitation, long-term care facility settings, and other facilities.
When a patient is moved from one care setting to another, it’s essential for physicians and other healthcare professionals treating that patient to have as much health information as possible to provide the best care. This requires extensive coordination within the healthcare community.
“The collaboration between the hospitals and ambulatory sites was the secret of our success,” said Jay Wallin, MD, Chief Clinical Information Officer of Mount Carmel. “This shows us that we are moving to an integrated care delivery model.”
Dan Paoletti, CEO of the Ohio Health Information Partnership, the nonprofit that manages the CliniSync Health Information Exchange in Ohio, said achieving these requirements is a significant accomplishment.
“We congratulate Mount Carmel on its success,” Paoletti said. “Meaningful Use is setting the groundwork for better coordination among physicians who care for the same patient. This program is all about creating the technology framework that’s going to help providers manage the care of their patients in an efficient and effective manner, no matter where that patient is treated.”
CliniSync staff helped assist Mount Carmel with the ability to send and receive transitions of care documents with other treating providers. Historically, this kind of health information may not have been sent, and if it were, in many cases would have been faxed or placed in a paper file that would be transported to the doctor on the other end in a much less timely manner. Today, through a national Direct Trust framework, CliniSync and others help providers exchange information electronically through secure, encrypted emails.
Dr. Wallin said they tackled challenges along the way, including tight deadlines for vendors and providers alike.
“We were testing software and preparing for Meaningful Use attestation at the same time,” said Dr. Wallin.
Paoletti said he anticipates more hospitals and physicians will be attesting to Stage 2 Meaningful Use measures over the next several months to qualify for financial incentives this year.
About Mount Carmel Health System A member of the Catholic Health Association and CHE Trinity Health, Mount Carmel has been a leader in patient care for more than 125 years. Our team of more than 8,000 employees, 1,500 physicians and 1,000 volunteers provides an array of cutting-edge, patient-focused primary and specialty healthcare services at four central Ohio hospitals and a free standing emergency department – Mount Carmel East, Mount Carmel West, Mount Carmel St. Ann’s, Mount Carmel New Albany and Mount Carmel Grove City. Mount Carmel also provides high-quality healthcare services at our surgery centers, multi-specialty physician group practices, ambulatory and urgent care centers, hospice, palliative care, home care services and through MediGold, a Medicare Advantage plan. Mount Carmel is dedicated to medical and nursing education and training as well, with six physician medical residency programs and the Mount Carmel College of Nursing – Ohio's fourth-largest baccalaureate nursing degree program.
About the Ohio Health Information Partnership The Ohio Health Information Partnership is assisting more than 6,000 primary care physicians with the adoption of electronic health records through federal funding. In addition, The Partnership received a federal HITECH grant of $14.9 million for the creation of a technological infrastructure (CliniSync) that allows hospitals, physicians, clinicians, laboratories and others involved in a patient’s care to communicate electronically and share patient data. The CliniSync arm of the organization is now self-sustaining and has contracted with 141 Ohio hospitals for services with 51 “live” on the network. The Partnership’s founders include the Ohio State Medical Association, Ohio Osteopathic Association, Ohio Hospital Association, BioOhio and the Ohio Department of Insurance. More information can be found at the Ohio Health Information Partnership website at www.clinisync.org.