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With the guiding principle of “one patient, one record, one team, one statement,” Partners eCare will improve the way Brigham and Women’s Health Care (BWHC) delivers care to patients across BWH and BWFH. During the next five years, the enterprise-wide health information system will integrate all clinical, administrative and revenue systems across Partners HealthCare. BWHC will be the first entity to fully implement Partners eCare.
BWH Bulletin sat down with BWHC Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President Mairead Hickey, PhD, RN, the executive sponsor of Partners eCare for BWHC, and Partners Chief Health Information Officer O’Neil Britton, MD, executive director of Partners eCare, to discuss the innovative new system and what it will mean for BWHC employees, patients and families.
Q. What is Partners eCare?
O’Neil Britton: Partners eCare represents the single largest initiative Partners HealthCare has undertaken. It will integrate our clinical, administrative and financial systems into one, and it will touch just about everyone. Partners eCare will impact the way our clinicians work and the way our patients see us, in a very positive way.
Q. How will Partners eCare benefit our patients?
Mairead Hickey: One of the major goals of Partners eCare is for our patients to feel that they are known to us; that they feel that they’re in the right place, with the right care and the right services. Through Partners eCare, providers will have all the information they need to deliver the best care. Partners eCare will leverage all the component parts of our system in service to our patients.
Britton: Patients will have a simplified statement about the care they receive each time they visit our hospitals. The format in which they receive information will be identical as they go from place to place. No matter where patients are cared for, they will know that the entire Partners system is acting in a coordinated manner. If they have blood drawn at our North Shore primary care practice, their doctor at BWH will be able to see the results as soon as they are available, for example.
Q. Why is the revenue system tied to the clinical system in Partners eCare?
Britton: This will ensure everyone is on the same page. When you disconnect the two, you get multiple billing statements. You get an explanation of benefits from your insurance company, a paper statement giving your balance, and separate statements from your physician, the hospital and the lab. We’re hoping to end all of that. Partners eCare allows us to keep our records in sync, and allows patients to have a much simpler and clearer picture of their care experience with us.
Q. What is the timeline for implementing Partners eCare at BWH and BWFH?
Hickey: We are planning right now, and we are on a very fast track, with actual implementation anticipated in the middle of 2015. Hundreds of BWHC clinical and financial subject matter experts are working alongside their counterparts from other Partners entities to confirm and standardize clinical workflows and the supporting software. We envision that in mid-to-late 2014, we’ll start planning for training in preparation for the roll-out. We hope to model our process here for other Partners’ entities to follow in their implementation.
Britton: We are going to be faced with greater challenges to lower the cost of care. It’s our obligation as leaders in all aspects of health care. We are leaders in innovation, we are leaders in research, we are leaders in education, and we should be leaders in finding solutions to making our system sustainable over the long haul.
Hickey: Partners eCare will allow us to get ready for the kind of changes we expect in payment reform, and it will help us to support the important efforts that we are making around the patient-centered medical home and care redesign.
Q. Will everyone here be impacted by Partners eCare?
Hickey: Everyone is going to be touched in some way. It’s a system for our patients and our providers. It will help us understand outcomes and trends in patient care, and to track our financials. So if you think about all the core component parts of this, it really covers every part of our work at BWHC, and everyone has a role.
Q. What do you want BWHCers to know about Partners eCare?
Britton: Our guiding principle is “one patient, one record, one team, one statement.” We need all patients to feel that, no matter at what site they come to us for care, we understand who they are and why they’re visiting us, and that their care providers are all connected.
Hickey: Partners eCare will further our mission areas of education, research, patient care and community engagement. It is probably the most transformative thing we have ever done as individual entities at BWH and BWFH and across Partners.
Q. Why are you personally excited about this?
Hickey: Brigham and Women’s Hospital has a long, rich history of being transformative in the area of information technology. So for me, it is only fitting that BWH and BWFH should be first at the gate, the first to fully implement Partners eCare.
To learn more, visit partnersecare.partners.org, where you can also sign up for email alerts. You can also email questions or feedback to AskBWHCeCare@partners.org.