Cleveland Clinic's e-tools enable coordinated care

CIO Martin Harris, M.D., outlines the organization's health IT strategy at this week's iHT2 conference

Martin Harris, M.D.

Health information technology will be the "fundamental enabler" of new care delivery models and disease management, Cleveland Clinic CIO Martin Harris, M.D., said yesterday at the opening keynote of the Institute for Health Technology Transformation (iHT2) summit in Ft. Lauderdale.

He walked the audience through a suite of patient- and physician-facing platforms that he said keeps the Cleveland Clinic's patients and their physicians--whether the latter are affiliated with the Clinic or not--connected, setting the organization up for accountable care, pay for performance and other initiatives to improve care and reduce costs.

The e|Cleveland Clinic suite is helping to dissolve the distinction between clinical practice and technology, he said.

The MyPractice EMR is designed not only for doctors and nurses, but also for non-clinical staff, and is used as a training, education and research tool, as well. The electronic medical record system has some of the typical functions, such as decision support, messaging and scheduling. The inpatient version has census, medication reconciliation, and digital documentation of vitals and other data, with specific alerts based on a patient's age and gender, for example.

The Clinic's EMR also has an integrated imaging program--docs can view images from within the EMR without opening a separate program. That's key, Harris, told the audience.

Imaging is going to become increasingly more important, he said--not just X-rays of bones but images that will show whether organs are functioning properly. Having not only the result but also the actual image right in the record will be "critical," he said.

The patient-facing MyChart tool bears some similarities to the clinical ones. The organization's personal health record contains the same lab results, for example, that the doctor gets, although they are "consumerized" so that the patient can better understand them. Instead of decision support, the patient gets reminders and other engagement tools. It includes messages, appointments, preventive care tips medications, allergies, and so on.

MyChart is also available as an iPhone app.