Submitted by David Fosnocht, MD, Augusta Emergency Physicians
Ever wish you could get information about your next patient from other hospitals and the Virginia Prescription Monitoring Program without three passwords you forgot, typing in the patient’s name three times, and having to find the patient’s zip code and phone number? Sounds too good to be true, but it is happening right now in the Emergency Department at Augusta Health.
This summer, Virginia will implement an Emergency Care Coordination Program (EDCCP) to link all hospital emergency departments across the Commonwealth. The backbone of the program is a software system will facilitate real-time communication and collaboration with the goal of providing seamless and improved patient care – and, in the process, reduce unnecessary medical costs, and put frequent ED visitors on a path to finding the help they need.
The first year our ED tracker will allow us to be alerted when a patient with defined “trigger” events, including # of ED visits in last year/ and or Virginia Prescription Monitoring Program activity, has registered in the ED. This will provide us easy access, without additional outside EMR/database searches and logins!, to information that we can utilize to improve patient care. Adding on to that backbone will be violence alerts/case management plans and downstream alerts to the patient’s identified primary care provider as those elements are added into the system in the next phases of the program.