The Reliance Community Health Record provides a tool for near real time access and reporting for health care providers in managing COVID-19. Earlier this month leaders in the western US began providing guidance for the resumption of non-urgent health care operations. Guidance included expectations that facilities and providers will among other activities, prioritize their planned procedures while considering if the procedure is worth the risk for ‘high risk’ groups. The Symptoms and Comorbidities Report, available to users of the Reliance Community Health Record, provides insight for providers into their patients other underlying medical conditions that may put them at higher risk for complications and mortality from COVID-19. Providers and facilities who are not already accessing COVID-19 reports in the HIE are encouraged to read on to learn more about the range of COVID-19 use cases Reliance functionality can support to help manage exposure risk for patients, staff and the community.
Reliance observed the first COVID-19 test results in the HIE in late January 2020 through a hospital lab interface from a Washington based HIE participating facility. Since that time Reliance has worked to develop functionality and reporting in the HIE to support our community of user in their support and treatment of COVID-19 in their communities. As part of our effort to support our communities with critical, near real-time patient data and reporting Reliance staff and stakeholders routinely evaluate new use cases and HIE related tools that would best address those use cases. The use of HIE during times of emergency and crisis are proven and Reliance continues to address data availability and quality related to the virus and to improve our library of Reports and Notifications. Earlier this month we shared with you the COVID-19 specific use cases supported by the Reliance eHealth Collaborative environment.
- Notification of COVID-19 Test Results – The HIE receives and aggregates COVID-19 test results from local hospital labs in near-real time. These lab results provide visibility into both COVID-19 positive and COVID-19 negative results and can be displayed in Notification Reports that present results for your organizations attributed patient population in a single view or at the individual patient level using the Community Health Record.
- Symptoms and Comorbidities Reporting – Using a broad and deep clinical data set the HIE provides reports that identify patients who have symptoms or diagnosis that qualify them as potentially positive for COVID-19. This use case is a wide-net of identification intended to allow users to see in one view, using data aggregated from across the community, their organizations attributed patient population that are displaying symptoms related to COVID-19.
- Patient Demographic Reporting – Having access to a patients most current contact information is crucial during an outbreak. Reliance aggregates demographic data, including contact information, for patients from sources across the Pacific Northwest and makes available contact information from the patients most recent healthcare encounter for use in follow-up care coordination and management.
- Standardization and Normalization of Coding – With large scale creation of data on patients across the state we always see variation in medical coding languages and terminology services. For proper management of data at a regional level the HIE provides an essential service of maintaining crosswalks of terminology and codes that allow accurate and effective machine-to-machine exchange of information. This ensures that no matter how a health plan in Southern Oregon indicates a COVID-19 positive patient when a clinical user in Central Oregon views the patients information their practice can see that the patients is has tested positive for COVID-19. Support for this use case is critical to ensuring patients are identified correctly for effective and accurate coordination of their care.
- Community Information Sharing – Clinical information is aggregated for patients from across the region and provided to clinical end users through the Community Health Record. This web-based portal is available to outpatient healthcare providers at no cost and enables those providers and their clinical staff a longitudinal view of the patients care. You are not required to have a specific EMR or have access to any health systems EMR portal. The Community Health Record often provides insight into hospital stays, urgent care encounters, lab tests, radiology studies and other critical information necessary to provide care and support for COVID-19 patients.
- EMS Notification – Reliance is working to provide Emergency Medical Services (EMS) dispatchers and users with insight into COVID-19 diagnosis at addresses or locations where EMS response is required. This will allow first responded to ensure appropriate COVID-19 PPE is used when entering a location to provide care for a patient.
- Death Notification – Reporting on patient mortality following a diagnosis of COVID-19 or following identification of symptoms of COVID-19 supports care managers, epidemiologist and medical examiners with their follow-up and investigative work and further supports accurate and proper reporting of mortality rates related to COVID-19.
We encourage you to reach out to our Help Desk if any of these current use case would be helpful to you in managing your patients care we want to hear from you. Access to the Community Health Record and COVI-19 related reports are If you do not already have access please let us know by contacting the Reliance Help Desk through helpdesk@RelianceHIE.org or calling 855-290-5443 and select Option 1. If are not currently a Reliance Participant access to the Community Health Record and Notification Reporting is provided at no cost to outpatient healthcare providers.