Beth Israel Deaconess Care Organization, a Massachusetts value-based physician and hospital network as well as accountable care organization, is implementing a new platform that will enable real-time cloud-based analytics aimed at improving population health.

The platform, slated to go live on July 1, leverages electronic health record data aggregation and analytics technology from Arcadia Healthcare Solutions to integrate clinical and claims data in real time, with the goal of generating improvements in care quality, efficiency and financial performance.

According to Bill Gillis, chief information officer of BIDCO, many healthcare analytics platforms rely heavily on claims data, which lacks the extensive history of health interactions documented by EHR clinical data. However, he believes Arcadia’s EHR integration process and technology—called Data Connect—helps extract the clinical data needed to meet various quality requirements in risk contracts.

“We’ve built our platform around using clinical data from EHRs on a real-time daily basis to give us a trajectory of where we’re going in terms of closing quality care gaps” across the network and within certain patient populations, says Gillis. “Making population health work requires knowing what happened with patients in the last 24 hours, getting that data together so you can do some analytics, and provide actionable information back to the physicians and practices on a real-time basis.”

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

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BIDCO providers, which include nine hospitals and about 2,600 physicians, currently operate more than 40 different EHR systems, and trying to integrate data from all the various hospitals and physician groups across Massachusetts is a daunting challenge, Gillis says. Nonetheless, he contends that EHRs are fundamental to improving care quality and are critical components for care coordination, adding that in order to become a member of BIDCO, providers are required to have and use a BIDCO-approved EHR.

“You want to be a member of BIDCO, you have to have an EHR,” observes Gillis. “We only allow folks to come into BIDCO if they are on one of six EHR platforms with very robust data delivery mechanisms and are from vendors that are open and willing to work on interoperability so we can exchange information between those systems.”

Its members use either athenaClinicals, Centricity, eClinicalWorks, Epic, NextGen or WebOMR, a homegrown BIDCO-developed EHR used by about 30 percent of its providers. All of the EHRs and clinical systems send clinical data to BIDCO’s Quality Data Center repository, “ideally on a nightly basis,” says Gillis, who notes that the goal is within 24 hours of patient encounters.

From the Quality Data Center, the clinical data is forwarded to a population health data warehouse where it is merged with claims data to “really give that full picture of what’s going on with a patient,” he adds, so that providers are armed with actionable and understandable information.

“Our goal with Arcadia is to go to that next level of data,” concludes Gillis, by incorporating admission, discharge and transfer as well as scheduling information from hospitals and physician members to close gaps in care and improve quality.

“There’s a web-based customer side of Arcadia that’s more self-service, so that the practices can run a report on a daily basis as to who is coming in today or over the next week and what are their care gaps—it’s about having that information at their fingertips,” he says.

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