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Keystone Beacon Teams with Caradigm for EHR-Less Data Sharing

August 9, 2012
by Gabriel Perna
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The health IT team at Keystone Beacon Community, a federally funded initiative from Geisinger, the Danville, Pa.-based integrated health system, and Caradigm, the Bellevue, Wash.-based joint health IT venture from Microsoft and G.E. Healthcare, is allowing nursing facilities to share patient information digitally to a health information exchange (HIE) with or without an EHR.

The combo of Keystone and Caradigm has leveraged the federal mandate for skilled nursing facilities to submit electronic patient assessments known as minimum data sets (MDSs) to Centers for Medicaid and Medicare (CMS), and created a MDS-to-Continuity of Care Document (CCD) transformer. This extracts patient information from the records of patients who have provided consent for their data to be shared and transforms it into a CCD format and then sends it to an HIE.  The patient information — including diagnoses and patient functional status — can be accessed by any licensed clinician who has agreed to keep the information private and secure.

The MDS-to-CCD Transformer will facilitate health exchange connectivity for skilled nursing facilities across the country, according to Jim Walker, M.D., Geisinger Health System's Chief Health Information Officer. "Any skilled nursing facility can now share a patient's information inexpensively and securely, which helps the patient's care team work better together," he said in a statement.

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