Getting onboard: Epic Community Connect links patients, physicians, and practices
For optimal patient care, it’s important for all physicians, including small independent practices, to have full visibility into a patient’s health. Such visibility is only possible with the Populytics model of data collection and analysis—using both patient data from the electronic health record (EHR) and claims data from contracted insurance payers. This full scope of data enables clinicians to identify high-risk patients, close gaps in care, and more easily meet quality metrics.
Being a part of this process requires connection to an EHR system, such as Epic, which is the one used by Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN). For that reason, LVHN and Valley Preferred are offering practice support with adopting Epic Community Connect, a system that allows clinicians to optimize their practices electronically. The following is a brief Q&A to help illustrate its value.
Q. How can moving to Epic Community Connect benefit patients?
Connecting a practice to an EHR system creates a seamless health record for the patient. Clinicians are able to see all medical information, including visits, procedures, or treatments that took place within the LVHN enterprise, as well as outside of the LVHN network. It means physicians have a 360 degree view of their patients’ history, gain the ability to be proactive about preventive care, and follow up on red flags. This can result in addressing issues before they become more serious, resulting in improved health, a better quality of life, and higher patient satisfaction with their physician visit.
Q. How does Epic Community Connect provide additional opportunities?
Connecting to an EHR is highly beneficial for a practice due to the performance incentive it can offer through Valley Preferred’s Achieving Clinical Excellence® (ACE) program. ACE rewards its members for performance related to quality metrics aligned with Valley Preferred and LVHN’s contracted insurance payers, and also for participating in educational events and research-related projects. Some payers might eventually charge penalties for not being electronically enabled; therefore connection is a business-positive step.
Q. What assistance is available for moving to Epic?
Through Community Connect, Valley Preferred will cover 85% of Epic software costs for practices who choose to upgrade. Practices receive a consultation, where IT professionals evaluate existing hardware and software and map out a practical path to Epic integration, accompanied by recommendations on a transition plan and workflow efficiencies that are customized for each office, based on individual needs. Post-implementation support may also be provided.
Q. If a practice moves to Epic, is its patient information secure?
Being connected to Epic does not make data coming to physicians vulnerable; it is housed in a secure portal, protected by dual authentication.
Q. What’s the first step in Epic connection?
To find out more or start the Epic Community Connect process, contact Wayne Stephens, Valley Preferred Physician Advocacy Liaison (PAL), at [email protected] or 610-969-0028.