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MultiCare joins CMS pilot project to remove barriers to health record access

Posted on Aug 2, 2019 ( comments)

MultiCare Health System has announced it will join a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services pilot program that will allow health care providers to access their patient’s medical records using the electronic health system already in place.

This program gives health care providers a fuller picture of a Medicare patient’s health care experience, providing information about a patient's previous diagnoses, past procedures and medication lists from clinic and hospital visits outside MultiCare. This will help providers make informed decisions about their care.

The pilot program, called “Data at the Point of Care,” was announced at the White House’s Blue Button 2.0 Developer Conference in Washington, D.C. this week.

Melanie Matthews, Interim President of MultiCare Connected Care, MultiCare’s accountable care network, attended the conference.

“This initiative will make it easier for our health care providers to get timely data about their patients to better support taking care of the populations we manage,” Matthews said. “Right now, too much of this information exists in silos and the only way we can effectively manage our patients and make sure we can get them on a path to health, it to have a complete record of their medical history.”

The Blue Button 2.0 program allows Medicare beneficiaries to connect their Medicare health information to third-party apps and programs.

Date at the Point of Care is based on an industry-standard application programming interface or API, and will use Health Level 7’s Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resource or FHIR standard, a protocol for joining disparate systems together to promote interoperability and seamlessly share health information. The program is part of the MyHealthEData initiative led by the White House Office of American Innovation. MyHealthEData is designed to give patients access to their medical information so they can make better medical decisions.

Blue Button 2.0 already provides access to this data for patients but now CMS is helping to connect providers to their patients’ information. Providers will be able to access the Data at the Point of Care pilot data directly within Epic, MultiCare’s electronic health record system, without needing to log into another application.

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