JAN 1, 2013

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Home Sweet Medical Home

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Making the medical home model work requires a number of moving I.T. parts: An EHR is foundational, but practices moving into the medical home space find they need assorted bolt-on technologies to succeed. That's the case at Elmhurst (Ill.) Clinic, a 100-physician multi-specialty group practice. The practice garnered Level III recognition for five of its primary care sites in 2008 (the recognition is site-specific), representing about 35 physicians, says Donald Lurye, M.D., CEO. It uses an EHR from NextGen. Although the medical home status only applies to its primary care sites, being a multi-specialty group on a common EHR platform is an advantage, particularly when it comes to the tracking of referrals and follow-ups with specialists that is a key element of the model, he says. "With a common medical record, if I send you to the surgeon he can look up your chart and see my concerns," Lurye says. "Often specialists are unclear as to why a patient is there to see them. Here it's much smoother."

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Unlike some other major industries, health care incorporates geospatial data only sparingly. But that could change quickly with population health a priority.

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