Published on October 24, 2017
Karen Critchley, Care Coordination Supervisor for El Rio Community Health Center, often refers to the work of her team as studying “the migratory patterns of El Rio patients.” That can be quite an undertaking, especially when you consider that El Rio’s mission as southern Arizona’s largest federally qualified healthcare center (FQHC) is to serve roughly 95,000 patients.
Until recently, that “study” involved calling every hospital in southern Arizona almost daily to find out if they had El Rio patients being discharged at that time. When Karen learned that Contexture, the Arizona health information exchange (HIE), could provide real-time Enhanced Alerts whenever El Rio patients were admitted or discharged from the hospital, she was thrilled to begin simplifying her team’s workflow.
While Karen was ecstatic to take advantage of Contexture’s Enhanced Alerts, she also recognized the opportunity to use them for patient follow-ups, improving care coordination and providing gap management in value-based care contracts. After sharing her feedback and teaming up with Contexture, the result was the initiation of a pilot project that provided and sorted detailed patient information to allow better care planning and earlier patient interventions.
El Rio was an ideal partner for a pilot, with its 28 care coordinators spread across multiple facilities that manage 16,000 patients and up to 60 hospital discharges and 100 emergency department visits daily. For Contexture, it was an opportunity to deliver more meaningful, machine-readable data that could integrate with a provider’s EHR and become a dependable part of their daily workflow.
Karen says that Arizona HIE data has become an integral part of daily operations, allowing the El Rio team to influence and improve the care of their most vulnerable patients. “The picture these Enhanced Alerts create for our team allows us to examine and improve daily workflows while also developing better services to meet patient needs,” she said. “I have to thank Contexture for allowing me to get what I ask for – and I ask for the moon!”
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