OCHIN partners with rural hospitals on connected care

Portland, Oregon-based OCHIN announced its entrance into acute care this week with a full-service inpatient electronic health record system that supports interdisciplinary care plans and clinical care coordination in an effort to focus on helping smaller hospitals nationwide.

In its announcement Tuesday, the nonprofit, health equity-focused national provider network said it analyzed gaps in rural healthcare delivery and is launching OCHIN Epic for acute care to provide patients with connected care and hospitals an opportunity to recruit more skilled talent.

“Implementing a new EHR system is significant for any healthcare organization, and it’s especially important for rural hospitals to have the unique tools and technology that will enable them to increase their communities’ access to high quality, connected care,” Kim Klupenger, OCHIN’s chief experience officer, said in a statement.

OCHIN already offers a fully hosted and tailored instance of the  Epic practice management and ambulatory EHR. OCHIN Epic’s nationwide network of about 30,000 active providers reaches more than 5.5 million patients.

Minidoka Memorial Hospital in Idaho was the first hospital to go live on the new system, according to the network. OCHIN helped the hospital “connect the dots,” Sara Zielinski, chief nursing officer at Minidoka, said in a recent blog post.

In the post, OCHIN said the critical access hospital with an attached nursing home serving 50,000 residents in southern Idaho was discontinuing its old EHR system. The company helped Minidoka narrow down the platforms within Epic that would work best in both its hospital and its rural health clinics – including MyChart to increase access to virtual care.

“We feel like it will be a huge win for our patients and our community as well, that they could have that kind of patient portal access,” said Tom Murphy, Minidoka CEO.

“More than half of our providers have had experience on Epic previous to coming here,” he noted – adding that it’s the “first EHR implementation where I haven’t had physicians pounding on my desk.”

The network said in its announcement Tuesday that it is providing full implementation services for OCHIN Epic Inpatient with project management support, workflow optimization, training and more.

OCHIN, founded in 2000 as the Oregon Community Health Information Network, with a grant to connect providers in that state, has a rich history of enabling access to care for systemically underserved communities nationwide.

More than a decade ago, the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Bureau of Primary Health Care Health Center Controlled Network awarded OCHIN $775,000 per year over three years to support community health with EHR installations and to help its members achieve meaningful use requirements.

Earlier this year, BroadbandOhio, a division of the Ohio Department of Development, selected OCHIN as its statewide telehealth administrator to connect more K-12 students with healthcare providers and counselors via real-time video conferencing.

“Our connected care platform will help ensure these pillars of their communities are able to remain independent, grow sustainably, and continue supporting the health and well-being of their hometown patients and broader region for years to come,” said Abby Sears, president and CEO of OCHIN in an announcement.

Andrea Fox is senior editor of Healthcare IT News.
Email: [email protected]
Healthcare IT News is a HIMSS Media publication.

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