VITL and Fletcher Allen Health Care Complete Pilot

Release Date: 
December 19th, 2013

Burlington, VT – As part of the ongoing efforts to connect health care organizations across the state in order to enhance patient care, Vermont Information Technology Leaders (VITL) recently partnered with Fletcher Allen Health Care on a pilot project to accelerate the development of the  interfaces which provide clinical data to Vermont’s health information exchange (HIE).  Also participating in the pilot was Medicity, one of VITL’s technology partners.

As a result of the pilot, radiology and transcribed reports from Fletcher Allen are now accessible on a limited basis to other statewide providers participating in the HIE provider portal program. Providers can also request that reports for their patients be delivered directly into their electronic health record (EHR) system. 

“Hospitals generate volumes of clinical data that can be critically relevant for treating patients in order to enhance care, so it is invaluable for providers to have immediate access to patient health information, especially at the point of care,” said John K. Evans, CEO of VITL. “What we learned through the pilot is that the development time of these interfaces can be dramatically improved by expediting decisions related to specifications and testing.”

The availability of the most current clinical data such as radiology and transcribed reports makes it easier for providers to treat patients who were recently seen at Fletcher Allen and to more easily coordinate care with other providers. Having the results submitted securely and electronically to providers also saves time tracking down results and conducting follow-up phone calls, allowing providers to have all of their patient information immediately available at the time of the appointment.

“This innovative and collaborative approach has been accepted and welcomed by all involved,” said Charlie Miceli, vice president, Supply Chain and Information Services, Fletcher Allen. “The removal of unnecessary process time fulfills a high reliability tenet and ultimately expedites the authorized availability of pertinent clinical data to our providers in order for them to provide the best care for all our patients.”

This new approach in developing hospital interfaces, titled the Move In Model involved the three organizations working onsite to finalize connection specifications and conduct initial testing rather than the typical practice of coordinating this work remotely. With this real time communication, technical staff gained the ability to get to know their counterparts at the other respective organizations and gain a better understanding of each perspective and how one could help the other.

This translated into more clarity on various aspects of the project, leading to fewer testing cycles needed, a reduction in testing timeframe and improved overall quality. On average, new hospital interfaces take approximately six months to complete. With the Move In Model, Fletcher Allen was connected to the HIE within four months.