Based in Nashville, Tenn., CareHere specializes in providing on-site health care through employers, including municipalities and state governments. In 2010 the fast growing CareHere identified a need implement efficiencies into its manual processes, but they didn’t know where to begin.
Champ IT Solutions (Champ), also of Nashville, was commissioned to help CareHere understand what areas of their communication processes with outside labs and health care partners could be automated. This was a Greenfield development project where CareHere was looking to Champ for the solution. Champ identified multiple processes that were manual, where integration with outside partners would increase accuracy and increase revenue. Only one constraint was present in the project, cost. Champ was to deliver a solution that enhanced CareHere’s business processes that included a low cost of entry for the fast growing on-site health care company. Champ introduced the CareHere team to Mirth Connect, a cross-platform HL7 interface engine that enables bi-directional sending of HL7 messages between systems and applications over multiple transports, available under the Mozilla Public License. At this time Mirth, which is now a leading solution for health care integration, was relatively unknown and untested.
Building upon CareHere’s developed EHR, Champ faced many challenges in implementing a solution that would bridge a bi-directional sharing of records between Lab Corporation of America (Lab Corp.) and Change Healthcare (formerly Emdeon). Existing EHR architecture was incompatible with the structured data coming back from Lab Corp. After updating and creating tables to overcome the database architecture problems, alternate issues arose from the bad data in the system due to manual processes. In order to match data from Lab Corp. to CareHere, Champ created a hierarchy based algorithm to correctly match records when demographics didn’t match, preventing manual intervention by a user to upload Lab Corp. results to the EHR.
Ultimately the project came in under budget in six months and the interface currently processes over 4 million transactions per year. Through the roll out to all 165 clinics, CareHere was able to eliminate manual ordering processes resulting in a fully automated requisition process. The system automatically populates patient demographics, provider and user into a Change Healthcare order; making the process fast, streamlined and without error. Error prone lab requisitions to Lab Corp, manually done before project completion, were completed with a <1 percent error rate post project completion.