John Muir Health and Hill Physicians Medical Group extend RelayHealth clinical connectivity to create regional data information exchange

Atlanta 03 April 2009John Muir Health, a pre-eminent northern California health system with two acute-care medical centres, and Hill Physicians Medical Group, one of the United States' largest independent physician groups, are extending their respective virtual information exchanges to seamlessly share clinical data and improve patient care delivery for the community of 4 million people they serve in Northern California. The competitors - now turned collaborators - are using RelayHealth's results management services to transmit hospital lab results, radiology reports and transcribed documents from John Muir Health and the Muir Lab reference laboratories to connected physicians, including those associated with both John Muir Health and Hill Physicians.


"We recognize that it is important to collaborate on care to benefit our patients even though we compete in the community that we both serve", stated Eric Saff, John Muir Health's chief information officer. "RelayHealth provides us the platform to link our two organisations to build this exchange of clinical results and reports over a wide geography. It's really about creating a true continuum of care for our community."

Craig Lanway, chief information officer at Hill Physicians Medical Group, agreed. "Helping our independent physician groups provide cost-effective quality care is what we're all about, regardless of whether the patients have other relationships with either 'Hill' or 'non Hill' physicians", stated Craig Lanway. "What's more important to them is the ability to provide patients with optimal care through access to complete information. Satisfied physicians and patients are very important to our organisation."

Both Hill Physicians and John Muir Health physicians are able to receive results from John Muir Health through RelayHealth's Software as a Service (SaaS)-based connectivity platform via a results viewer. Several practices also can automatically populate their electronic medical records with the data, further reducing inefficiencies and costs associated with paper-based reports.

"Getting the right information to the right place, and in the right form at the right time is key to patient safety", stated Craig Lanway. "For the physician treating a patient in the ambulatory setting, having easy access to clinical data from a previous John Muir hospital visit is very important. Moreover, the moving of paper lab reports to a practice might have taken days to occur. The electronic exchange shortens this tedious process significantly to mere seconds."

Hill Physicians enjoys an eight-year successful association with RelayHealth. "We value the partnership and have found RelayHealth to be very responsive to our needs as we have rolled out this service to our physician practices", stated Craig Lanway.

For John Muir Health, the results distribution service is the kick-off of a five-year plan to establish RelayHealth's secure on-line interactive services for its primary patient portal strategy. "We are in the beginning stages of offering RelayHealth to the community as an on-line entry point and vehicle for all data exchanges between patients and physicians", stated Eric Saff.

"Health care is very paper-intensive and process inefficient", stated Jim Bodenbender, senior vice president and general manager, RelayHealth. "We believe the transmission of clinical data between acute- and ambulatory-care settings will be required as future core competencies. Significant attention has been given recently to the need for health care connectivity to assure quality, safety and efficiency. We are pleased to partner with health care providers such as John Muir Health and Hill Physicians Medical Group to model best practices that actually are demonstrating significant returns now."

John Muir Health has long been recognized as a leading health care organisation for comprehensive services in high- and low-risk obstetrics, neurosciences, orthopaedics, cardiac care, and cancer care. Other areas of specialty include neurosurgery, trauma surgery, general surgery, advanced endoscopic and robotic surgery, and weight-loss surgery. John Muir Health has two acute-care medical centres: John Muir Medical Center - Walnut Creek Campus, designated as the trauma centre for Contra Costa County, and John Muir Medical Center - Concord Campus, as well as the John Muir Behavioral Health Center. The organisation also encompasses outpatient services throughout the community, and the John Muir Physician Network.

Hill Physicians Medical Group is one of the United States' largest independent physician groups (IPAs) and a recognized expert in innovative managed health care. The Standards of Excellence Programme of the California Association of Medical Groups recently recognized Hill Physicians as a state-wide specialist in care management practices, health information technology, and accountability and transparency. More than 300.000 people across Northern California have chosen Hill Physicians care providers for primary and specialized health care. Committed to supporting healthy lifestyles, Hill Physicians Medical Group offers extensive health education services to its patients, including wellness classes, health screenings, and self-help through its on-line health information portal.

RelayHealth, McKesson's connectivity business, operates as a neutral partner in an open network environment, offering connectivity services and integration among all organisations, systems, and solutions. Its intelligent network is designed to streamline clinical, financial and administrative communication between patients, providers, payers, pharmacies, pharmaceutical manufacturers, and financial institutions.

RelayHealth works to accelerate the delivery of high-quality care and improve financial performance through solutions such as on-line consultation of physicians by patients, electronic prescribing, point-of-service pharmacy claims resolution by payers, pre-visit patient financial clearance by providers, and post-visit provider bill settlement by payers and patients. RelayHealth securely processes more than 12 billion financial and clinical transactions annually. More company news is available in the VMW May 2004 article Physician Associates licenses RelayHealth service to enable on-line doctor-patient communications.

Source: RelayHealth

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