Friday, February 6, 2015

Transition of Care documents: Easing the burden

In a recent HITECH Answers post, Meaningful Use expert Jim Tate draws attention to the major stumbling block presented by “Transition of Care” (TOC) requirements.

In Stage 2 of Meaningful Use, TOCs became a core requirement. Meeting the measure requires that an eligible hospital/CAH or eligible professional “who transitions their patient to another setting of care or provider of care or refers their patient to another provider of care” produce a summary care document for each transition or referral.

To that end, EHs (Core Measure #12) and EPs (Core Measure #15)  each have three measure thresholds which they must meet:
  • Summary of care record for > 50 percent of transitions and referrals.
  • Summary of care record for > 10 percent of transitions and referrals by one of two methods
  • Choose one of two criteria: (1) Conduct at a least one successful electronic exchange of TOC; or (2) Conducts at least one successful test with the CMS designated test EHR during reporting period

As Tate writes, EHs in particular see meeting these measures as the major obstacle in achieving Meaningful Use.

Transition of Care, while challenging to incorporate into existing workflows, need not be the "real killer" in MU2. For a Hospital on 2014 Certified Software, sending a TOC CCDA to another physician should be as easy as a few clicks.

Ideally, EMR Systems can capitalize on the ease of the
DIRECT standard, making the movement of TOC documents between physicians to be as fluid as e-mail.  Partnering with an Accredited HISP such as MaxMD makes DIRECT practical for most any workflow.

MaxMD’s SendAnywhere offers functionality similar to that of a web mail portal:
  • TOCs – and other confidential health information – can be sent any email address on the web
  • Direct mdEmail users can communicate securely beyond their network
  • Recipients who may not be “Direct-enabled” can still view/download TOC documents
ConnectEHR allows Direct Send to run in the background and broker exchanges of critical healthcare information. So there’s no need for trepidation about navigating the waters outside your EMR.