Saint Luke’s Health System (SLHS) in Kansas City, Mo., collaborated with its clinical integration and health information exchange (HIE) partner, Atlanta-based RelayHealth, on an initiative called Connected Orders, a front-end workflow solution that connects ambulatory-care physicians with hospital and freestanding reference laboratories, imaging centers and patients to automate the test ordering process. More than 15 other organizations across the nation are currently using RelayHealth Connected Orders. Connected Orders’ transmission process will help physicians strengthen their care coordination with community providers by bridging the information gaps that can exist between inpatient and outpatient care.
Within SLHS’s 11-hospital network, Connected Orders is known as the “Closed Loop Service” feature of the health system’s HIE. Doctors at Midwest Pulmonary Consultants, PC, and Saint Luke's Multispecialty Clinic are entering orders online via this service, which initiates a succession of automated actions: First, the Saint Luke’s Outpatient Imaging Center staff receives the order from the physician and calls or sends an electronic message to the patient to schedule the appointment. After the test is completed the physician is notified, the results are sent to the physician, and the physician has the option of releasing the results with comments electronically to the patient.
Connected Orders is part of RelayHealth’s expanding portfolio of clinical integration connectivity solutions that support HIE capabilities at more than 50 health systems and hospitals. Physicians with or without an EMR can use the Web-based solution to place orders for diagnostic tests, medications, patient care and referrals. Hospitals and health systems can offer the service to physicians enrolled on the RelayHealth network and to unenrolled doctors who can access the solution as a standalone module viewable through an Internet browser.