For Implementation of Health Information Exchange
The American Medical Group Association (AMGA) named North Texas Specialty Physicians as one of three honorees for the 2012 AMGA Acclaim Award. The award recognizes health care organizations that have implemented new models of medical management, coordination of care delivery, and a systemic approach to improving the patient experience.
The AMGA named one overall winner and three honorees from across the nation. AMGA selected these organizations based on their ability to leverage strategies that align with the Institute of Medicine’s Six Aims for patient care, which call for health care organizations to deliver care that is Safe, Timely, Effective, Efficient, Equitable, and Patient-Centered.
North Texas Specialty Physicians (NTSP) was recognized because of its demonstrated commitment to rapidly increase usage of electronic health records among their physician practices by developing a community-based health information exchange through its “Stepping Beyond EMRs to Advance Care and Increase Savings” initiative. NTSP’s physicians understood that better clinical decisions can be made if more information was available at the point of care. This included real-time patient clinical information from multiple sources, as well as evidence-based decision support tools. In 2006 NTSP created a health information exchange, SandlotConnect, which uses web-based applications to gather data from all points of care across the community. The HIE directs the data into a centralized data repository so it can be accessed by all sites of care as needed. Since the launch of SandlotConnect, NTSP physicians have been able to offer more integrated care to more than 2.5 million patients across seven counties, while assimilating data from 12 hospitals, 1,700 physician offices, half of all radiology and lab services in the DFW market, more than 100 pharmacies, and more than 350 interoperable electronic health records across four platforms. In creating the HIE, the group practice addressed all six core aims being targeted by the Institute of Medicine.
“We know that giving physicians and their staff easy access to clinically-relevant patient information at the point of care improves care, ensures safer care and creates more efficient care processes,” said Ira Hollander, M.D., President of NTSP. “Our commitment to leveraging the power of a health information exchange is driving better care coordination, and we hope we can serve as a model for other large group practices that have yet to invest in an HIE strategy.”
“The groups honored with this award exemplify the best quality health care in the United States, and the efforts of multispecialty medical groups and other organized systems of care to provide the right care at the right time in the most efficient manner,” said Donald W. Fisher, Ph.D., AMGA’s president and chief executive officer and secretary and treasurer for the American Medical Group Foundation. “It is our hope that medical groups throughout the country will learn about the work of these innovators and be inspired to implement similar programs in their medical groups.”