OCHIN Massachusetts Corner

OCHIN Massachusetts Corner

By Nicole Klassen, Project Manager, Epic Product Enhancement, and Mey Saeteurn, Application Specialist

Care Everywhere Referrals Management Project

In collaboration with Epic and the Boston Health Network, OCHIN is working on Care Everywhere Referrals Management functionality that streamlines the tracking of referrals between organizations. This is achieved by synchronizing referral records between the member organization and other Epic organizations.

This functionality is still very new. South Boston went live with this feature in the winter of 2015, and all of the Boston Health Centers are now live with this feature. Since the spring of 2016, OCHIN and Epic have been working closely with Boston to identify areas of improvement in this functionality. The first step was to ensure that all organizations had a shared understanding of how referral management should work. In this regard, Epic provided training to the group from a technical programming perspective. With this baseline understanding, the team was able to identify workflow improvements, build adjustments, and opportunities for Epic development.

Some highlights of this work so far include turning on item syncing, creating a best practice workflow, updating the referral trigger logic to match this workflow, adding specialty mapping where needed, and adjusting build to fix issues along the way. The team is continuing to work on functionality that will identify notes where follow-up action is needed and automate the notification process when an appointment is scheduled.

For members interested in this functionality, it is important to note that, given the complexities and careful planning required for integrating referral workflows with another organization, this functionality is best suited for tracking referrals between organizations with which you already have a strong referral relationship. Also of note, the organization with which you plan to exchange referral information must be configured for Care Everywhere Referrals Management before it can synchronize referrals with your organization.

The Care Everywhere Referral Management tool has the potential to greatly improve the way referrals are managed and processed between organizations. This project is very important to the future of how referral information is exchanged effectively in real time. We look forward to sharing more information about this exciting work in future newsletters!