Finding the new normal via HIE-enabled registries

By Wesley Combs

How do we return to normal? It’s a tough question to answer.

As communities across the country begin to reopen everything from restaurants to barbershops – and even resume elective surgeries and therapies – connecting existing COVID-19 data to caregivers at the point of care is a critical next step.

Our nationwide Health Information Exchange (HIE), OnePartner, has been able to deliver some answers to that all-important question thanks to the use of dbMotionTM Solution and our hard-working teammates and partners.

For some background, OnePartner HIE operates in 9 states and houses around 3 million patient records.  With more than 100 sources of data spanning all EHR vendors connected to our HIE, we manage one of the most diverse and data-rich HIEs in the country.

To take advantage of this dataset, OnePartner built Covid-19 registries within the OnePartner Community nSights platform that help doctors and nurses identify patients that are at high risk of exposure and have medical conditions that increase their risk if they are exposed. This information is used to educate these high-risk patients on the correct precautions.

What’s unique is that these registries use geocoding to correlate possible exposure due to proximity to known existing infections, virtually creating a high-risk watch list for the clinic. OnePartner also provides near real-time event notifications regarding new diseases to the primary care providers that have a treatment relationship with these patients.

Harnessing the power of dbMotion, OnePartner was provided with a standard Covid-19 alerting package for anyone using our toolset at the point of care. This package provides a point-of-care alert to the caregiver that the patient has been tested for COVID. With that alert, the caregiver sees a risk indicator in their workflow regarding the interaction. This enables our clients to make special arrangements like redirecting the patient to dedicated locations or alternate paths of entry when scheduling or treating that patient.

Using the power of dbMotion, we’ve shown how the platform can respond in a pandemic, and there’s no reason why all states can’t do it, too.

Had a system like this been in place nationally when the pandemic began, I think there would have been a very different public health response. Rather than shutting down everything, we could have been much more targeted while containing the spread within our communities, an effort that could have saved our country billions of dollars.

If we’re going to reopen the economy, monitoring COVID-19 health data becomes even more critical. Local, state and federal public health policy leaders must implement legislation to share this healthcare information with providers in real-time at the point of care. Currently, state labs or county health departments don’t share this critical data back to the rest of the healthcare system in an efficient manner. In several scenarios, it’s done via mail or fax.

The OnePartner HIE Community Record, powered by dbMotion, enables secure, safe and actionable access for healthcare providers to information across the continuum to not only improve COVID-19 patient care and prevent spread but for almost all population health needs.