ZirMed’s Communication Platform Makes Information Exchange Practical for Providers
Sharing is difficult. Ask any three-year-old. Or ask any healthcare provider.
But it is necessary. Toddlers need to learn to share so they can get along in a social world. And, healthcare providers need to find ways to share information so they can provide better clinical care and succeed under the government’s Meaningful Use incentive program and emerging value-based purchasing models that call for increased care coordination.
"Unlocking and sharing patient information across the provider continuum is critical for healthcare providers to gain meaningful cost savings and promised patient care benefits," said ZirMed CEO Tom Butts. "The challenge is despite the HITECH and Meaningful Use incentives and adoption of EMR technologies, the information remains locked away in silos.”
Certainly, the healthcare industry has struggled to find an easy, practical way for providers to share information for years. There’s the costly and inefficient process of faxing, printing, scanning, and using a jumbled assortment of faxing tools, costly dedicated phone lines, and even snail mail to exchange information from provider to provider, or from provider to patient. More recently, health information exchanges have emerged to provide an alternative but they are expensive, difficult to implement and a challenge to sustain.
“Healthcare providers are really struggling to move information around,” says Bethany Williams, vice president of product marketing at ZirMed. “Many providers, though, don’t have millions of dollars to pour into technology that will facilitate data exchange. And, they don’t have the years that it could take to get such systems up and running.”
Taking a cue from popular social networks such as Facebook and Linked-In, ZirMed has introduced a HIPAA-compliant provider-to-provider communication platform that is naturally intuitive and simple to use. ZirMed Clinical Link is designed to support the workflow and practice patterns of healthcare providers by enabling authenticated users to invite others in their referral network to join the secure network and easily exchange information. Clinical Link enables providers to communicate directly with one another via secure messaging functionality, as well as transfer administrative and vital clinical information via structured or unstructured data as attachments. ZirMed worked with hundreds of providers to design a workflow automation system that enables providers to eliminate phone, fax, and mail used today for referrals and patient transition of care.
The system is built upon the ZirMed Link™ Platform, which has proven itself to successfully support the transport of billing information to payers in compliance with HIPAA regulations.
“Clinics are signing up for Clinical Link and they are up and running in ten minutes. That’s how easy it is,” Williams says. “Clinical Link makes data exchange as easy as using Facebook and it is helping to overcome so many of the obstacles that had been associated with sharing information in the past. It’s really the disruptive technology that the healthcare industry has been looking for.”