8/4/2013 | RESOURCES

Medstar Health is named ‘Innovator of the Year’ for Secure, Single Sign-on Connection to CRISP, Maryland’s Health Information Exchange

Ai nominated MedStar Health Information Services for the 2013 Daily Record Innovator of the Year Award, for which MedStar was subsequently named the 2013 winner from among 70+ nominees! The Innovator of the Year Award began in 2002 as a way to recognize Marylanders and Maryland-based companies for their innovative spirit – for creating new products, new programs, new services, or new processes that have helped their companies, industries, or communities.

The work that Ai and MedStar have done to integrate CRISP (Maryland’s state health information exchange) into its internal electronic health record system is truly innovative. MedStar was the first hospital system to do so in Maryland, and has reaped tremendous value-add vis a vis care coordination, clinical data exchange, and related workflow improvements for MedStar patients and clinicians.

The excerpt from the nomination below describes the innovation and its impact in more detail:

Description of the innovation:

Access to electronic clinical data from “outside” of a clinician’s hospital or physician practice reflects a paradigm shift in healthcare delivery today. It is both clinically necessary and is gradually becoming federally mandated through meaningful use measures (implemented under the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act in 2009). MedStar Health has recently deployed an innovation that directly supports this paradigm shift by making it possible for its clinicians to access clinical data from any Maryland hospital with the simple click of a button inside of the electronic health record (EHR) systems that they use every day. The innovation improves patient care and care coordination, reduces healthcare costs by reducing the need for costly tests that may have been performed at other hospitals, and improves inefficient clinical workflows necessary to get to the “outside” data.

MedStar Health, in partnership with Maryland’s statewide health information exchange (HIE), the Chesapeake Regional Information System for our Patients (CRISP), has made it possible for all of its ~2,500 clinicians in Maryland and D.C., to easily access CRISP’s vast inventory of lab results, radiology reports and dictated reports from any Maryland hospital. The innovation leverages ubiquitous web-based technologies and standards that are widely used in other industries, but have yet to gain a foothold in healthcare. MedStar is the first health system in the state to adopt this type of integration with the federally and state-funded HIE.

What makes the innovation unique?

In order to appreciate the uniqueness of this innovation, first consider that most healthcare providers have to remember numerous usernames and passwords to access the array of disparate clinical systems that house data for any given patient. Once they log into each system, they need to perform separate patient searches to locate the records. This pattern of inefficient workflows is typical in most hospitals; it is expensive and creates both patient safety and care coordination challenges. Now consider that MedStar’s innovation broke this pattern in every possible way—MedStar eliminated the need for a new username and password, eliminated the need to search for a patient, and shed roughly 14 mouse clicks from the workflow. From start-to-finish, MedStar clinicians can be securely logged into the CRISP HIE and in the correct patient’s record in under three clicks. Once there, clinicians can access other hospital’s records, including lab results, radiology reports and other dictated reports, such as discharge summaries.

In addition to creating more efficient workflows, MedStar’s innovation is innovative because it leveraged cheap, simple, secure, and scalable web-based standards like Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) for authentication, and basic web services to create the tight integration with the CRISP HIE. The underlying infrastructure that supports this integration with CRISP can be reused to authenticate with other disparate systems outside of MedStar.