Improving care for older adults

June 10, 2010, Indiana University School of Medicine

The Indiana Network for Patient Care (INPC), one of the highest volume health information exchanges in the United States, is expanding to include post-acute care facilities, bringing the benefits of secure health information exchange to a growing number of individuals who often have significant health care needs.

Three Indianapolis skilled nursing facilities, part of Golden Living, the leading provider of post-acute healthcare services, will join more than 60 hospitals, clinical laboratories, and other medical facilities serving nearly six million patients and residents as a member of the INPC, a network that makes from one institution securely available at any other INPC participant in real time. This provides physicians with the information they need — when and where they need it — to make decisions critical to patient care.

The Golden LivingCenters joining INPC are Brookview, Brandywine, and Indianapolis. To begin, Golden Living is focusing on the Indianapolis market, with plans to later add its other 20 LivingCenters across Indiana.

The medical information of patients and residents of skilled nursing facilities that are members of INPC will be readily available to the medical staff of hospitals, providing a significant opportunity to improve patient care. This will allow physicians to immediately know the resident's or patient's medical history, medication record, recent laboratory results and other health information. Equally important, information from the hospital visit will be readily available to the skilled nursing facility upon admission.

"During transitions of care between emergency departments and nursing homes, providers generally deliver care in the absence of complete information. This initiative has the potential to help providers on both sides of the transfer deliver higher quality and safer care," said Kevin Terrell, D.O., Regenstrief Institute investigator, Indiana University Center for Aging Research scientist and assistant professor of emergency medicine at the Indiana University School of Medicine.

Created and operated by the Regenstrief Institute, an international leader in electronic medical record and development and operations, the INPC daily handles approximately 2.5 million secure transactions of clinically relevant data such as laboratory test results, medication and treatment histories, and other clinically important information in a standardized, electronic format. This information is critical to diagnoses, treatment and referral decisions.

"Golden Living is proud to partner with the INPC in providing such an important tool to our LivingCenters," said Neil Kurtz, M.D., president and chief executive officer of Golden Living. "We believe that innovative use of health information technology is a critical pathway to improvements in health care quality and cost efficiency. Our patients, residents, and employees will all benefit from our participation with the INPC."

The INPC also supports services including delivering test results and reports to physicians through the DOCS4DOCS service and also provides a chronic disease and preventive health service through the Quality Health First® program, offered by the Indiana Health Information Exchange. IHIE, a Regenstrief partner, is the nation's largest health information exchange.

"Improving care for everyone in the state is an important goal of the INPC effort. We are pleased that Golden Living has chosen to become an INPC participant and extend that potential to some of our most vulnerable citizens," said J. Marc Overhage, M.D., Ph.D., director of medical informatics at the Regenstrief Institute, president and CEO of IHIE and Regenstrief Professor of Medicine at Indiana University School of Medicine. "INPC is an easy-to-use, clinical information network that will help long term care facilities and other health care providers give their patients the best care possible while saving dollars."

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