OVERLAND PARK, Kan.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Interoperability and care integration are no longer just buzz words. “Treating the whole person” is no longer hyperbole. A groundbreaking care coordination agreement, reached earlier in the year between leading behavioral health and acute care health providers in southeast Florida, has led to electronic record sharing between the two parties. Henderson Behavioral Health has begun receiving quick and confidential emergency room referrals from Memorial Healthcare System, as a way to ensure care continuity, financial savings and, most importantly, the delivery of effective treatment to patients.
“Physical health and mental health emergencies typically require different treatments but the care needs to be communicated across providers to accomplish the ultimate goal of improving outcomes,” said Memorial’s Tammy Tucker, Psy.D, Associate Administrator, whose six-hospital system serves southern Broward County, Fla. “Our emergency department staff are now transmitting data directly to Henderson so patients obtain coordinated and integrated medical and behavioral health services.”
MHS sends the referrals in the form of Health Level 7 (HL7) C-CDAs from the Epic EHR to a Netsmart CareRecord™ (EHR) used by Henderson Behavioral Health via Netsmart’s care coordination solution. The referral includes key data needed for the Henderson team to provide comprehensive care as soon as the person arrives at the Henderson location:
- Labs or studies that have been completed for the medical diagnosis while in the emergency room/hospital to support medical clearance
- Demographic Information
- Medical Summary
- Medication List
- Vital Signs
Dr. Steven Ronik, CEO of Henderson Behavioral Health says they’re just beginning to reap the benefits of the integration. “Those benefits include detailed patient information, more reliable communication, and increased speed and accuracy of referrals. The patient doesn’t have to wait around. We can get right to working on making them whole again.”
To make the integration possible, a number of parties had to come together – not only Memorial and Henderson but electronic health record developer Epic and behavioral health IT leader Netsmart.
“This is a proof point that through the committed partnership of healthcare providers and healthcare IT suppliers we can move beyond the idea of just sharing data to enabling integrated care processes to drive improved outcomes,” said Netsmart Chief Executive Officer Mike Valentine. “For us, the goal is to treat the mind and the body and enable recovery at a reduced cost.”
“Our goals are the same…to improve care, safety and efficiency by connecting the physical and mental health worlds. Recognizing that, it was just a matter of rolling up our sleeves and making it happen,” said Carl Dvorak, Epic’s President.
The financial and treatment benefits of care integration can’t be overstated. Under the Affordable Care Act, hospitals will soon face readmission penalties – a scenario that might be avoided with a fully integrated approach to care. Currently the average length of stay for a mental health patient in the emergency department is 21 hours. But if that same patient can be quickly transferred to a behavioral healthcare facility, he or she can receive the optimum treatment for the specific illness, reducing costs and freeing-up acute care specialists to handle other emergencies.
“Time savings and elimination of redundancies are already being realized. Referrals are being received electronically and the quality of the data has improved,” said Ronik.
About Henderson Behavioral Health
Henderson Behavioral Health is the oldest and largest, community-based not-for-profit behavioral healthcare system in South Florida. Since 1953 Henderson has helped hundreds of thousands of children, adults and families. Henderson Behavioral Health's mission is to serve as the premier provider of accessible, cost effective, and quality behavioral healthcare services to the people of South Florida in order to promote their mental health and well-being. Visit Henderson at hendersonbh.org.
About Memorial Healthcare System
Memorial Healthcare System is the third-largest public healthcare system in the country. It is a national leader in quality care and patient satisfaction and has been ranked on Modern Healthcare magazine’s list of Best Places to Work in Healthcare. Its facilities include Memorial Regional Hospital, Memorial Regional Hospital South, Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital, Memorial Hospital West, Memorial Hospital Miramar, Memorial Hospital Pembroke and Memorial Manor nursing home. For more information, visit mhs.net.
Netsmart is committed to helping health and human services providers deliver effective, outcomes-based care with Netsmart’s CareFabric™ solution, a tightly woven framework of innovative clinical and business solutions and services that supports integrated, coordinated delivery of health services across the spectrum of care.
More than 23,000 client organizations, including 450,000 care providers and more than 40 state systems use Netsmart solutions to help improve the quality of life for more than 25 million people each day. Netsmart clients include mental health and addiction services agencies, health homes, psychiatric hospitals, private and group mental health practices, public health departments, social services and child and family health agencies, managed care organizations, and vital records offices.
Netsmart is pleased to support the EveryDay Matters Foundation, which was established for behavioral and public health organizations to learn from each other and share their causes and stories. For more information, visit www.everydaymatters.com.
Learn more about how Netsmart and the CareFabric solution are changing the face of health care today. Visit www.ntst.com, call 1-800-472-5509, follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter, like us on Facebook or visit us on Google+ and YouTube.