Real-time sharing of records 'virtual safety net' for patients at Calif. hospitals

Blue figures standing in a circle

Six East Bay-area hospitals in California plan to share patient records in real-time to create a “virtual safety net” for patients, reports Hospitals & Health Networks.

Participating hospitals are the Alta Bates Summit Medical Center in Oakland and Berkeley, Highland Hospital in Oakland, Sutter Delta Medical Center in Antioch, Eden Medical Center in Castro Valley and San Leandro Hospital.

“We’re trying to use technology and available information to make it so no matter what door a patient walks through in Alameda County, we’re all on the same page,“ Jim Hickman, CEO of Better Health East Bay, Sutter Health’s philanthropic foundation partner in the East Bay, says in the article.

The secure data-sharing platform integrates with each hospital’s electronic health record system and will help care teams understand each patient’s usage patterns and care needs in the community.

It also will help the organizations better treat “super users.” For instance, in the first 60 days online, the two Alta Bates Summit Medical Centers registered 16,119 individual patients, 4,191 of whom had been to the emergency department three or more times in the previous 12 months.

They also discovered that 2,000 of their patients had been treated at Highland Hospital and 1,448 had three or more ED visits in the previous year.

When patients go to the emergency department of any participating hospital, push notifications are sent to their primary care physicians and case managers.

Hospitals are employing a number of tactics for better addressing super users, such as making “house calls” on the homeless and using “navigators” within the ED to redirect patients to behavioral and mental health resources, low-income housing and other needs.

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