A new case study on the Office of the National Coordinator for HIT’s blog site examines use of secure messaging software to quickly get records from other providers into the electronic health records system of a behavioral health provider.

Ada S. McKinley Community Services in Chicago is using the Direct Project secure messaging protocols to get records from primary care physicians and hospitals to better provide mental health treatment to more than 300 children and adolescents each month. For instance, Ada gets about five discharges a day from hospitals, which can equate to hundreds of pages of paper documentation that must be entered into the EHR. But patients often are seen before that can happen.

With secure electronic messaging of discharge summaries, transition of care summaries and other documentation, staff can skip the scanning stage and save the messages into the EHR. “Now, clinical staff can review records prior to or at the time of care versus only having retroactive information,” says Margo Roethlisberger, vice president of program operations at Ada McKinley. The full blog is available here.

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