With electronic records becoming more and more commonplace today - the majority of DD providers across the country having implemented an agency management platform, the next "big thing" will be sharing data outside of your agency's walls. DD Provider software is crucial as CMS steps up its HCBS Waiver regulations. The term "quality management" is used non-stop in CMS messaging and having electronic records is, inevitably, the only legitimate way to increase quality management and pass tighter CMS & state audits. Assuming your agency has already invested in electronic records and is using them across your programs and services, the idea of sharing client records is the next natural step, especially with person-centered planning and services being the focal point of CMS's direction.
This is relevant in two ways:
1. We could see more instances of individuals receiving a variety of services from different agencies, whereas in the past typically services for an individual tended to be bundled under one agency. Agencies will probably become more specialized, i.e. Agency X's day program is the best, but Agency Y's residential is better. If this is the case, a person-centered approach to electronic records must be in place. This means it will become more and more important for agencies to transmit data back and forth amongst each other regarding shared clients. To deliver the best service and care, you are going to need the ability to read records on what is going on with your clients as they receive services from other agencies. In some cases, it goes even farther and you will need real-time alerts if an accident or emergency happens to one of your clients while they are receiving services at another agency.
2. A more person-centric focus is also starting to pull in areas of the individual's medical and clinical services. This coincides with more and more states electing to move in the direction of managed care for DD services. This bundles the individual's entire health and human service delivery under one roof. In this scenario, it's basically a requirement that provider agencies will have the ability to share data to the managed care companies and health and medical stakeholders to provide and manage the "wrap around" care. Sharing DD data with health and medical data has the potential to unlock never before seen trends and better manage their health in home and community based settings.
Sharing data with other agencies and with 3rd party insurance companies and stakeholders is getting closer and closer to a reality. With security precautions aside, thinking about this concept opens the door for a lot of questions and possibilities. It was always said that implementing electronic records at the agency level breaks down departmental and programmatic silos. Taking it one step further and sharing records outside of your agency to other important stakeholders in your client's life breaks down even more walls. Sharing of electronic records is not an earth-shattering new idea. Primary care practices and hospitals have been involved with record sharing initiatives through Regional Health Information Organizations (RHIOs) for years. However, focused on the DD population, record sharing and data trending between human services and health services has never been done in large scale before. What possibilities and breakthroughs can be uncovered? How will the lives of those you serve be better off as a result? It's really exciting to think about and it is coming. What would be some areas of information that you would be excited about potentially seeing through the sharing and reporting on dd electronic records at an aggregate level? Let us know!