CHICAGO – Geisinger Health System presented software for rheumatologists at the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society meeting Monday to promote its effort to disseminate its clinical management tools for use by other healthcare providers.
Dr. Earl Steinberg, CEO of xG Health Solutions, an independent, for-profit company Geisinger spun off in 2013 , said Geisinger uses health information technology not merely “as an electronic documentation tool,” but “customized to promote compliance with best practices.” One example is software for rheumatologists called “EnrGRheum.” The program pulls together electronic health-record data and patients' self-reported data into an easy-to-understand form for clinicians and patients.
The software enables clinicians to start visits with information about their patients' response over time to biologics or other medications instead of having to spend time with the patient reviewing this information, said Dr. Eric Newman, the program's creator. That lets doctors “cover more territory” during their patient visits because the software isolates and displays information that's relevant rather than forcing the doctor to click through and hunt for necessary context. Newman said use of that program saved Geisinger, an integrated delivery system based in Danville, Pa., millions of dollars.
Newman's software and other tools available through xG Health Solutions have been ready for deployment for more than four years. But the state of technology standards made it difficult to extract the software from Geisinger's EHR system and port it to another hospital's system, particularly if its EHR was made by another vendor.
“I had 18 different companies come in, all of whom said could (extract the data) but didn't,” Steinberg said, describing the hospital system's efforts over the past four years to extract the software from its system.
But new technology standards, such as Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources, should make that process easier and allow xG to export software to other hospital systems interested in using it. Software will be sold on a subscription basis and updated based on Geisinger's experiences and progress.
A number of xG software tools are in beta-testing. Among those tools is an improved note-taking system that allows providers to more accurately classify the health status of patients in Medicare Advantage plans.