Six Things to Know About Community Health Systems EHR

Community Health Centers (CHCs) are also known as Community Health Systems. These are organized as non-profit clinical care providers that operate under comprehensive federal standards. There are two types of clinics that meet CHS requirements are those that receive federal funding under the Public Health Service Act and those that meet all requirements applicable to federally funded health centers and are supported through state and local grants.

Uniquely in community health centers, at least 51% of all governing board members must be patients there. A sliding fee scale based on income is implemented to decrease the cost of care. The purpose of these stipulations is to ensure that health centers improve access to care and serve the community.

To operate effectively and efficiently the Community Health Systems require EHR. Electronic medical record (EHR), refers to the systematized collection of patient and population electronically-stored health information in a digital format. These records can be shared across different health care settings and can help in the data collection, manipulation and representation.

Integration of health care services is a major focus in CMS which is why Community Health Systems EHR is required to perform the following functions:

  • Identify and maintain patient records
  • Manage patient portals and databases
  • Maintain symptoms and illness lists
  • Manage medication lists
  • Provide the options for generating format specific reports
  • Capture external clinical documents
  • Present care plans, guidelines, and protocols
  • Manage guidelines, protocols and patient-specific care plans
  • Generate and record patient-specific instructions

Community Health Systems EHR is thought of platforms that were intended to offer care coordination. Care coordination offers significant benefits to patients, providers and payers by improving both clinical and business outcomes. Here are seven things the vendors should know about the Community Health Systems EHR and the care coordination:

Community Health Systems EHR’s care coordination capability is limited: EHRs have the basic features that can facilitate the care coordination. These features usually facilitate the discharge planning and utilization management of the centers which then becomes identical to the inpatient case management which renders the image of care coordination. But however, there is no evidence that care coordination is the sole purpose of the CHS EHRs.

Community Health Systems EHRs were not originally designed for care coordination: These EHRs were developed to basically enhance the productivity by connecting all dots for the doctors, nurses and the hospitals and to facilitate the patients. This facilitating nature evolved over the period of time and shaped into care coordination.

Certain features and data is required for care coordination: Different types of care coordination are required for different outpatient specialties so that the patients can be catered with. This is why there is a need for different protocols and procedures that are specific for each kind of specialty.

Accreditation has laid down the criteria for the requirement of Community Health Systems EHRs to have care coordination: Meaningful use is the major reason why more modules for the care coordination are being added so that the patient navigation is made easier and barriers for patients can be reduced.

Interoperability and data sharing are dire for clinical outcomes: The reason why the CMSs use EHRs is that they have invested heavily in the these EHR and they intend to take advantage by consolidating all the activities and reducing the IT complexities.

Interoperability and data sharing are serving as a bigger challenge: AMA (American Medical Association) has called on for EHR’s complete interoperability. This is why the big vendors, offering EHRs, are trying to offer more features for data sharing.

We can conclude that the greater the care coordination is the better it is for the CMS. This is because that the Community Health Systems EHR helps the hospitals to impart care coordination. This trend for enhancing the care coordination will definitely increase with the increasing maturity of the market.

Aiden-SpencerAuthor Bio: Aiden Spencer is a health IT researcher and writer at CureMD who focuses on various engaging and informative topics related to the health IT industry. He loves to research and write about topics such as Affordable Care Act, electronic health records, Medical Practice management and patient health data. You can get in touch with him on Twitter: @AidenSpencer15  

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