ONC-ACB Certification ID: 15.04.04.2705.Crit.04.00.1.191111 | Certification Date: Nov 11, 2019
What is Health Information Exchange (HIE)?

What is Health Information Exchange (HIE)?

There is an increasing demand for interoperability amongst healthcare providers and patients for access to and sharing of a patient’s medical records electronically. Providers want to participate in the exchange of data to improve patient care and outcomes. Health information exchanges (HIEs) facilitate the exchange of patient medical information electronically – securely and efficiently. In 2019, the utilization of local, state, and regional health information exchanges by hospitals increased to over 50-percent [1].

Types of Health Information Exchange Data:

There are three types of HIE that each offer unique access to health information [2].

1. Consumer Mediated Exchange - In this type of exchange, patients have more control over their records and their use among healthcare providers.
2. Query Based Exchange - In this type of exchange, a healthcare provider can request and search patient medical information across multiple different healthcare providers.
3. Directed Exchange - In this type of exchange, coordinated care is facilitated by a bi-directional transfer of patient medical information between healthcare providers.

Why Practices Need Health Information Exchanges?

HIE helps healthcare providers provide high quality care to patients by improving the speed and cost of patient outcomes. According to Qsource [3], the transfer of health information helps practices to:

1. Avoid errors – interoperability is only successful when there is a reduction of errors, which leads to cost effectiveness. In addition, avoiding readmissions can also be cost effective.
2. Improve diagnoses – when healthcare providers have increased access to tests and information about a patient, patient care is more effective and efficient.
3. Reduce testing – unnecessary testing improves patient satisfaction, promotes quality of care, and reduces costs.

As the demand for HIE increases, medical providers should work with their EHR software provider to implement a solution that meets the needs of their patients.

For more information on how Criterions can support your practice with HIE, complete the form below:

Sources:
[1] Jason, C. (2021, March 26). Stages of Health Information Exchange Implementation. EHRIntelligence. https://ehrintelligence.com/features/stages-of-health-information-exchange-implementation.
[2] CapMinds. (2020, November 16) “The Essential Guide To Health Information Exchange.” CapMinds Blog The Essential Guide To Health Information Exchange. CapMinds. www.capminds.com/blog/the-essential-guide-to-health-information-exchange/#.
[3] Qsource. (2019, November 6). QPP: What is Health Information Exchange and How to Make it Work for Your Practice. Qsource. https://www.qsource.org/qpp-what-is-health-information-exchange-and-how-to-make-it-work-for-your-practice/.

Case Study: DocCare

Case Study: DocCare

Background

Since the launch of Criterions TCMS product in 1997, DocCare has been utilizing Criterions’ software solutions to increase efficiency in their office. At that time, the practice had three office locations, but have since expanded to seven offices across New York. DocCare has over 23 physician providers who support 18 medical specialties, and operates under the guidance of Dr. Joel Hershey, who has been the with DocCare for over 20 years. In his role as Medical Director, Dr. Hershey oversees the physician staff in their mission to provide high-quality care to patients. After many years of utilizing paper for all patient and office records, the practice made the switch to electronic documentation in 2011 when they implemented Criterions EHR software.

Although there were hesitations moving from paper to an EHR, Dr. Hershey can’t imagine going back to the burdensome process of paper documentation. Over the years, DocCare has added many new features and enhancements to their EHR. Because DocCare is setup on the cloud, any updates made to the software are automatically shared with the entire team. Dr. Hershey says, “There is new functionality and upgrades added often and it's making huge difference for our practice.” These updates help DocCare continually improve the experience for both patients and administrative staff.

In 2011, Dr. Hershey was one of the first doctors involved with the federal and New York State Meaningful Use programs that were implemented. This support helped DocCare achieve government reporting requirements and improve overall quality of care for patients. He shares,

“The Product Manager at Criterions worked closely with me to rebuild our EHR so that it produced all the correct information in the format that the government required, and we were one of the first groups in New York state who began meaningful use.”

 

Long-Term Success

Over the years, Criterions EHR has continued to grow with the needs of DocCare. The staff love that they are able to easily customize the EHR system setup for each individual employee. Alex Hernandez, IT Manager at DocCare says,

“The training we received from the Criterions team was very helpful. They showed us exactly what the system can do and from there we've been able to customize templates for all positions easily.”

He shares that because they hire new practitioners frequently, it is helpful that the system is intuitive and only takes about a day or two to get used to.

DocCare also appreciates the success they have had using their EHR to adapt to the challenges of 2020. Because of the outbreak COVID-19, practices had to quickly shift from seeing patients in person to meeting virtually. Looking back on this transition, Dr. Hershey recounts, “Last year when we started doing a lot of telemedicine appointments because of COVID-19, we were able to get the appointment types up and running in the same day.”

In addition to optimizing their software to handle telemedicine calls, DocCare was also able to easily contact patients who were at the highest risk of contracting COVID-19 to determine who should be contacted about getting the vaccine.

“We are able to quickly pull reports and send email blasts to specific people based on certain diagnosis groups or age groups,” says Dr. Hershey.

The reporting and emailing options within the Criterions software helped DocCare increase communication with patients, and in turn, increase patient satisfaction. Dr. Hershey explains, “We were able to pull a report in one minute to quickly improve the quality of what we can do.”

DocCare continues to provide comprehensive high quality medical care with the support of Criterions software. Together, we will continue to grow and offer new solutions that will improve the patient experience as well as increase efficiency for DocCare’s administrative staff.

 

Interested in learning how Criterions software can benefit your practice? Fill out the form below:

4 Benefits of User Rights and Responsibilities

4 Benefits of User Rights and Responsibilities

With the increased use of technology, data security has become of paramount importance to software development. The use of electronic health records (EHR's) in the medical field has demanded that patient and practice information is not only secure from external people but also from system users within the practice itself. One of the great characteristics of any EHR software is the ability to give users specific rights which align with their responsibilities within the software to maintain the required level of security.

There are many benefits of assigning user rights and responsibilities. In this blog post, we will highlight the top 4:

1. Patient Medical Information is Secure

When a patient visits a health care provider, they are trusting that their information is being protected from anyone who should not have access to it, this may include staff within the practice. This information can include patient progress notes, lab results, and user data who is also a patient at the practice. Within any EHR software, practice administrators should be able to limit which staff member or user group can have access to patient health information. This allows providers to ensure privacy and security of this confidential data.

2. Practice Reporting Information is Not Accessible to All Users

The ability to limit access to financial and system reporting is another key benefit of assigning user rights and responsibilities. Providers who use the software for billing may not want all users to have the ability to check their daily totals or other financials relating the practice. They may also want to limit users access the Meaningful Use and other reports relating to the patient diagnosis. By limiting access to different reports, you will protect your practice’s financials and system data.

3. Only Authorized Users Can Make Changes to the Software

Another important right is the ability to make changes in the actual software that may affect all users. A great example of this is a practice that may want limit who is able to add and change users’ rights in the software, as well as any set preferences that may affect the outcome of the documentation of a visit. This right ensures that only authorized users can make changes such as editing procedures, test codes, and more.

4. Select Authorized Users can be Assigned to Certain Patients

In 2016, a major music star was checked into a hospital and within a short time several internal staff members had accessed their information and leaked it to the press. This story highlights the importance of assigning user rights and responsibilities to ensure health information is only available to the appropriate staff members. Giving select users exclusive rights to certain patients allows for added privacy of patients who may be considered VIP, and also allows for accountability should information be leaked.

Assigning user rights and responsibilities is an important feature in any EHR software. This will allow your practice to maintain the highest quality of care, compliance, and security.

 

For questions or information on assigning user rights and responsibilities with Criterions EHR software, reach out using the form below!

3 Benefits of An Integrated Inventory Tracking Solution

3 Benefits of An Integrated Inventory Tracking Solution

If you are a provider that sells supplies or other products to your patients, you know that keeping track of inventory is important to your bottom line. It is crucial to have an accurate count of your inventory so that you are able to provide patients with the correct resources for treatment, however, manually tracking inventory can be a hassle.

With an inventory tracking solution that integrates with your EHR software, your practice will see increases in efficiency and patient satisfaction. Here are 3 key benefits of an integrated inventory tracking solution:

 

1. Increase Efficiency for Administrative Staff

      • Your Admin team can easily set products and add stock to system to ensure an accurate inventory profile.
      • Office staff can quickly locate previous orders in the system to offer patients products and solutions that are right for them.
      • By having an accurate view of available inventory at the counter, opportunities for additional sales will increase.

2. Easily Track All Products Sold

      • You can easily track a variety of inventory including DME, medications, and over the counter products.
      • As you sell products, your inventory will reflect the current supply on hand. This will help you manage inventory levels.
      • You will be able to see comprehensive tracking of items prescribed during a visit.

3. Avoid Running Low on Inventory

      • By tracking all inventory, you will be able to see which products or supplies you may need to replenish. This helps increase visibility of current stock.
      • Gain insights on inventory by analyzing reports available through your software.

By integrating your inventory tracking with your EHR software, your practice can increase sales, easily track products sold, and avoid running low on product. To learn more about the benefits of an integrated inventory tracking solution, contact us buy completing the form below!

Why your Office Should be Using Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)

Why your Office Should be Using Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)

Multi-Factor Authentication is a process that is used to verify a user’s identity by using a second method of authentication in addition to the username and password. After a user logs in using their regular credentials, the system will send a one-time password to the user’s registered device, often via SMS or email. Experts agree that the simplest, single most effective step users can take to protect their accounts is to add MFA to the login process. When your office enables MFA, a crucial layer of security and protection is added.

Aren’t passwords secure enough?

Creating strong, unique passwords is a one step towards ensuring that nobody else can access your secure account. Unfortunately, users often create weak passwords and re-use the same passwords across multiple accounts. Because of this, password theft continues to be an ever-increasing concern in the digital world. Take a look at the following alarming statistics compiled by Panda Security:

  • According to Verizon, 80% of hacking-related breaches are linked to passwords.
  • 4 out of 10 Americans have had their personal data compromised online. Of those, 47% have lost money as a result.
  • 66% of Americans use the same password across multiple online accounts.
  • The healthcare industry had the highest average cost of a data breach in 2020 at $7.13 million.

Do any of your employees connect remotely?

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the world has seen a sharp increase in employees working remotely. According to a PricewaterhouseCoopers global survey published in September 2020, over half of the companies that were surveyed had arrangements for employees to work remotely with 80% of those companies expecting this arrangement to become the norm by the end of the pandemic. With the increased number of people connecting remotely, authenticating the credentials of all users is more critical than ever. Using MFA at your office will ensure safety of your company’s important information.

Do I really need to enable MFA on my system?

In a 2019 blog post, Microsoft manager Alex Weinert stated, “Based on our studies, your account is more than 99.9% less likely to be compromised if you use MFA.” According to Google’s Security Blog, adding a two-step verification through SMS text message can stop 100% of automated bots, 96% of bulk phishing attacks, and 66% of targeted attacks.

This additional, easy step ensures that the user logging in is the correct, authenticated user. Even if a user’s credentials are hacked, this extra verification process will ensure that the hackers will still not be able to gain access to their system. Best of all, this additional layer of security only takes a few seconds to implement. Instead of having to buy external additional devices or complicated security systems, MFA technology makes use of resources that users already have access to such as their cell phones and email addresses.

 

We strongly encourage all Criterions users to protect their accounts with Multi Factor Authentication. Please contact support@criterions.com with any questions or complete the form below.

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