Published on January 10, 2018
As the largest pediatric practice in northern Arizona, Mountain View Pediatrics must operate efficiently to keep its patients healthy. And that operation became more efficient when Mountain View Pediatrics joined Contexture, Arizona’s HIE, according to one of the co-owners, Ron Tuckman, MD, and office manager, Angela Hernandez. The eight pediatricians and one nurse practitioner of flagstaff’s Mountain View Pediatrics typically see 115 patients each day and 15-25 patients on weekends. They are always busy, especially in the middle of flu season.
When Mountain View Pediatrics joined the Arizona HIE, one of the first services set up was to receive Alerts on its patients who are admitted or discharged from the hospital. While this can mean receiving a significant number of Alerts, the pediatrics office built the Alerts into its daily workflow to ensure timely follow-up with discharged patients and their families. In the past, Tuckman said, they would receive “infrequent calls” from hospitals concerning patients who were discharged. Now with the connection to Contexture, the Alerts are a “secure blanket” covering every discharge.
With each Alert of a patient discharge, Mountain View staff reaches out to schedule appointments and to determine next steps. With most discharges, it can be several days before a discharge summary is available, so the Alerts allow the practice to begin following up right away, requesting the discharge summary as soon as possible.
The connection with the Arizona HIE has also improved the referral process, according to Hernandez. “We love the ability to securely share records for patient referrals. The HIE makes it easier for both providers and patients,” she said.
Contexture is helping a busy pediatric practice manage its large patient population. “It helps us be proactive and not reactive,” Tuckman shared, “and it keeps us in tune with our patients through better communication and better patient tracking.”