Clarity Health, a provider of care-coordination services, has announced a new Web-based platform to discharge patients from medical facilities and follow their care after their hospitalization.
Announced Dec. 12, the platform, called Emergency Department (ED) Discharge Notification, provides real-time alerts to doctors and case managers when a patient leaves a hospital. The tool enables physicians to keep up with patients and make sure they're following instructions after surgery or inpatient episodes.
By having the ability to monitor patients when they leave a hospital, doctors are able to improve patient outcomes, according to Clarity Health.
"Clarity is committed to providing the information hospitals and practices need to provide excellent patient care and to respond to changing requirements in the health care systems," Bill Bunker, CEO of Clarity Health, said in a statement. "ED Notification provides the timely discharge information our customers need in a manner that is easily accessible across disparate organizations and care teams."
ED Notification provides a Web-based work list on a patient's progress that all members of a care team can view. The patient's primary care provider, case manager and care team will access the ED Notification record, Caroline Heckathorn, director of product marketing for ClarityHealth Services, told eWEEK in an email.
The application conforms to the patient-centered medical home concept, in which a patient's care team is actively involved in coordinating the person's care. The data includes demographics, contact information and a discharge summary, which provides a description of the patient's problem along with diagnosis codes. The data in ED Notification also includes the time and date of admittance and discharge as well as past treatment records.
"The goal of the product is to help providers and hospitals provide more effective patient care and to reduce needless readmissions to the emergency department," said Heckathorn. "Better emergency department management and care coordination are cornerstones of the health system reform that is under way."
The doctor will refer to the Web platform to check on scheduling of follow-up appointments, said Heckathorn.
Clarity Health also offers a similar product called Acute Discharge Management, which allows doctors to coordinate the hand-off from inpatient to outpatient care. In addition, the Inbound and Outcome Referral Management applications allow caregivers to manage referrals from a centralized Web-based platform.
Companies are developing other applications that help track a patient both in the hospital and upon discharge. Microsoft's prototype of a Windows 8 app called Rounds could allow doctors to track patients while they're in the hospital and use instant messaging to discharge them.
In October, nonprofit health IT vendor HealthBridge announced its collaboration with the Greater Cincinnati Health Council, a forum that connects hospitals and health care leaders, to transmit patient discharge documents electronically among hospitals, primary doctors, long-term facilities and home health care agencies.
HealthBridge's data is shared using open-source technology protocol developed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Nationwide Health Information Networks (NwHIN) Direct Project, a standards-based system used in health care to send encrypted messages among health care organizations, providers and patients.