OAK BROOK, Ill. & WESTBOROUGH, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--In its continuing efforts to enhance patient outcomes and create efficiency in a challenging economic and regulatory climate, Advocate Physician Partners (APP), has added the power of an electronic medical record (EMR) system to its award-winning Clinical Integration (CI) Program. APP, the largest network of independent physicians in the Midwest, is partnering with eClinicalWorks® in one of the biggest EMR implementations in the country.
Many health policy experts say EMRs can decrease costs by reducing medical errors and duplication, as well as improve quality of care. These goals mirror those of APP's CI Program, which has demonstrably taken costs out of the health care delivery system and improved outcomes in 35 disease groups including asthma, diabetes, heart ailments and depression.
APP, a collaboration between more than 3,400 physicians and the Advocate Health Care system, will recommend its 2,600 independent physicians use eClinicalWorks EMR and practice management tools to support and supplement the CI Program which unifies the physicians under a common set of quality goals and measures. The APP eClinicalWorks EMR solution will offer real-time access and updating of patient information anytime, anywhere and enhance communication between providers and patients.
"Advocate Physician Partners is committed to clinical excellence and patient safety, and the use of an EMR by APP physician members is the next step in using technology to improve quality and performance," said Dr. Lee Sacks, executive vice president and chief medical officer for Advocate Health Care and president of Advocate Physician Partners.
Seventy-five percent of Americans receive their medical care from doctors in small practices and less than 15 percent of physician groups are using an electronic record system, according to a recent New England Journal of Medicine article. Comprised heavily of physicians in these small practices, APP's EMR strategy offers an accelerated adoption timeline and will benefit physicians and patients alike.
"Advocate Health Care, as a system, is committed to the benefits that technology brings to our caregivers and their patients," said Bruce Smith, Advocate senior vice president and chief information officer. "Advocate Physician Partners' EMR plans underscore its continuous efforts to bring its physician members the best tools to serve those who trust them with their health and wellness needs."
Federal and state governments are actively encouraging the adoption of electronic medical records. The recent American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) and federal stimulus package provides $18 billion in EMR-related investments and incentives for physicians through Medicare and Medicaid.
"It is clear that the federal government agrees with APP's positive evaluation of the potential of EMR to reduce health care costs and improve outcomes," said Sacks. "Leveraging technology has the potential to have many positive effects on the entire health care system in this country."
Employer groups also have endorsed the movement to EMRs, largely to have access to data for improving disease management and reducing health benefit costs. Payers are developing pay-for-performance incentives for physicians, which will depend on systematically securing data from the EMR.
"eClinicalWorks provides technologies that help both providers and patients improve communication and clinical outcomes," said Girish Kumar Navani, CEO and co-founder of eClinicalWorks. "By utilizing eClinicalWorks EMR/PM system along with its complimentary technologies that enable community records and mobile connectivity, Advocate is showing its commitment to its providers by uniting its practices and ensuring they have the most up-to-date information possible to deliver the best medical care. We are honored to have been selected by the largest health care provider in Illinois."
APP has begun a pilot program with some of its members and eClinicalWorks in anticipation of a phased implementation process that will get more than 1,200 physicians in some 400 offices up and running on the EMR platform by mid-2012. Physicians who achieve meaningful use of an EMR by 2012 will receive the maximum reimbursement offered under the government's stimulus bill.
APP physicians will implement eClinicalWorks's unified EMR/Practice Management (PM) system using a Software as a Service (SaaS) model so physicians are able to access the solution via the Internet. eClinicalMobile will permit Advocate physicians to access the system anywhere through most smart phones. Providers will also have access to a data analysis tool called eBO for customized reports to optimize patient care, while eClinicalWorks Electronic Health eXchange (eEHX) will connect eClinicalWorks users and create a community record to give physicians access to patients' health information and allow them to exchange data more effectively.
Long term plans include integrating the APP eClinicalWorks EMR/PM system with Advocate Health Care's in-patient system and clinical quality registry, as well as with EMRs already in place at Advocate Medical Group (AMG) and Dreyer Medical Clinic. This integration will be a key factor in achieving meaningful use under the ARRA.
About Advocate Physician Partners
Advocate Physician Partners is the care management and managed care contracting joint venture between the Advocate Health Care system and select physicians on the medical staffs of Advocate hospitals. With a physician network that includes more than 1,000 primary care physicians and 2,400 specialists, Advocate Physician Partners is focused on improving health care quality and outcomes - while reducing the overall cost of care - in both the inpatient and ambulatory settings. Advocate Physician Partners' award-winning clinically integrated approach to patient care utilizes best practices in evidence-based medicine, advanced technology and quality improvement techniques. Advocate Health Care is a not-for-profit, faith-based integrated healthcare delivery system serving the greater Chicago metropolitan area. Advocate Health Care is ranked among the nation's top health care systems. With over 27,000 employees, Advocate Health Care is the second largest private sector employer in Illinois.
eClinicalWorks® is a privately held leader in the ambulatory clinical systems market. The company's unified electronic medical record (EMR) and practice management (PM) solutions are proven for every market segment: large practice groups, including Massachusetts eHealth Collaborative (MAeHC), Electronic Health Records of Rhode Island (EHRRI) and the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, as well as medium, small and solo practices regardless of specialty. The company enjoys high profitability with a five-year compounded growth rate of more than 100 percent year-to-year. With an established customer base of more than 34,000 providers and 100,000 healthcare professionals across all 50 states, eClinicalWorks has been awarded multiple top industry honors including being named to the Inc. 5000 in 2009, 2008 and 2007. Based in Westborough, Mass., eClinicalWorks has additional offices in New York City, Pleasanton, Calif., and Alpharetta, Ga. More information on eClinicalWorks can be found at www.eclinicalworks.com or by calling 866-888-MYCW.