MedStar initially saw CVS Minute Clinics coming into the region as competitors, but now the delivery system and the clinics have linked their EHRs. MedStar also is linking to patients, home health clinicians, rehab facilities, urgent care centers and other delivery systems previously viewed as competition in the Baltimore-Washington region. “The discussion is no longer ‘my data versus your data,’ but more how well can we collaboratively use the data that we collectively share,” Schneider says. “It’s a new way of thinking, and the technology is the piece that ties it all together.”
Patients now expect immediate access to physicians, schedules and health information, Schneider says. Connectivity tools enable MedStar to deliver the information in a productive and cost-effective manner. “It’s not about driving patients to office or hospital visits when there are now so many other appropriate venues for efficient and timely healthcare delivery,” he adds.
Clinicians no longer have to struggle to find information because MedStar’s strategy enables them to find out what happened in any hospital, ambulatory or rehabilitation site, Minute Clinics or telehealth visits. “Armed with comprehensive and current data, providers can make better informed clinical decisions,” Schneider contends.