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No EHR? No problem: New software could nix need for EHRs in LTC facilities

August 9, 2012
by pamela tabar
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Long-term care facilities concerned about how to afford an electronic health record system in order to exchange data may now have a new alternative.

A new software system can automatically process Minimum Data Sets (MDS) records and extract the data fields required for a standard Continuity of Care Document (CCD). Once the data sets are complied, the CCD can be shared electronically with a participating health information exchange. The software may remove a major hurdle in long-term care/post-acute care's participation in transitions of care—reconciling the MDS data with the coding systems used by hospitals and other participants in the care continuum.

The data-sharing software was developed jointly by the Keystone Beacon Community, a five-county health system in Pennsylvania, and Caradigm, a software company launched by GE Healthcare and Microsoft.

Keystone Beacon is one of 17 Beacon communities selected by the Department of Health & Human Services to receive a $16 million federal grant. The community, associated with the Geisinger Health System, has spent the past three years innovating ways to improve care quality, data sharing and cost efficiency across a patient-centered care continuum.

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