Real-Time ADT Notifications with Direct Access to Patient Data Elevates Care Coordination Efforts
Our mission at Consensus Cloud Solutions has always been to offer meaningful, analytics-ready data that enables clinicians to spend more time with patients and less time deciphering documentation. As providers across the healthcare spectrum know, that is often easier said than done.
That’s why we’re particularly excited about our recent acquisition of Summit Healthcare and its All Access solution that greatly helps providers participate in coordinated patient care. For more than a year now, hospitals have been required to send electronic event notifications of a patient’s admission, discharge, and/or transfer (ADT) to another healthcare facility or to another community provider or practitioner.
Consensus Cloud Solutions already had a robust ADT solution, but All Access takes notifications a step further, providing ADT alerts but also creating a link for providers to access relevant patient documents. It’s the difference between “Mr. Jones has been discharged from the hospital” and “Mr. Jones, who suffered a heart attack, has been discharged from the hospital with these medications based on these lab results and treatment notes.”
Along with data interoperability, care coordination is how hospitals, health systems, and clinicians can truly impact patients at the individual and population levels to support quality efforts and maximize reimbursements.
Real-time ADT event notifications sent to the appropriate care provider allow appropriate interventions to start quickly to improve the care process for everyone, including “high-need, high-cost” patients, while helping patients avoid unplanned and expensive acute care. This on-demand data access is provided without giving full EHR permissions and in a manner that is automatically encrypted to HIPAA standards.
As healthcare delivery has become progressively more specialized, patients can find themselves being cared for by a disjointed network of providers who are loosely linked by inadequate means of information exchange or communication. As a result, this insufficient communication or integration framework can lead to notification gaps that can leave care teams unaware of patient hospitalization or discharge.
It can be cumbersome for care teams, which span multiple organizations, multiple systems, or differing technical capabilities, to exchange information and monitor conformance. Yet it’s critically important for primary care providers (PCP) to be aware of patient admissions, be able to review test results, and receive summaries of care following such events.
An increasing number of studies show that a lack of timely PCP notification of a patient’s treatment and other coordination deficiencies, are significant drivers of reduced health outcomes, preventable hospital (re)admissions, and the mounting cost of healthcare.
In 2018, 3.8 million adult readmissions within 30 days of a hospital stay were reported, with a 14% readmission rate and an average readmission cost of $15,200. In aggregate, those readmissions cost nearly $58 billion.
Hospital Medicare revenues continue to be linked to readmission rates that resulted in penalties against 82% of eligible hospitals between July 1, 2017, and Dec. 1., 2019. The fines averaged $217,000 per hospital in reduced payments, according to 2018 data, and this penalty period resulted in an average reduction for Medicare reimbursements of 0.64%. Despite the high rate of penalties, the program is working as intended, with overall hospital readmission rates dropping over the past decade.
A 200-bed community hospital in California that uses All Access shows the power of data to transform care processes. Previously, physician practices called requests into the hospital’s records office, and any patient documentation, including history and physical reports (H&P), lab and test results, summaries of care, transcriptions, face sheets, diagnostics, and radiology reports would be faxed.
Within one month of implementing Consensus All Access, the hospital enrolled more than 315 area care providers to receive notifications. Over time, the hospital eliminated a daily average of 150 phone calls and faxes within the health information management department. In under one year, the solution delivered over 1.4 million event and reporting notifications and shared over 70,000 ED encounters, 57,000 outpatient encounters, and 50,000 pre-admit and admit encounters.Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital, Valencia, CA
Even with the industry’s continued push toward interoperability and care coordination, obstacles remain to exchange data efficiently and effectively, given the wide variety of technologies and types of data being exchanged. An ADT platform not only provides real-time notification, it also can closely track the initiation of care, monitor provider responsiveness, identify care team gaps, reduce the number of patients slipping through the cracks, and help clinicians deliver consistent follow-up care.