Resources / Case study

Causes we care about: NowPow and CommunityHealth

How EHR integration delivers better care to those who need it most

“It can sometimes be difficult to pitch integration projects to health systems, but it helps to have a partner that can reduce the technical lift. Doing the patient data sync is such a huge benefit to the health system, and we’re happy to have Redox as a partner to help expedite what could otherwise be a long and costly project.”

Lisa Lee-Herbert
Implementation & Product Support Lead

Project Snapshot

NowPow extends providers reach

Their application allows care providers to access and utilize an up-to-date resource database to make appropriate referrals.

Integration powered by Redox

NowPow’s workflow leverages existing data feeds and is powered by the PatientAdmin data model.

Light technical lift for the IT team

No custom configuration was required for CommunityHealth, making the project lightweight for the their IT team and quick to execute.

Comprehensive care for the uninsured

CommunityHealth provides free, quality, and comprehensive medical care to people living in poverty in the Chicago area.

A partner CommunityHealth can trust

Redox is HITRUST certified and HIPAA compliant, ensuring all data exchanged is secure at every stage of transmission.

Expanded scope, better care

Integrating NowPow at CommunityHealth ensures seamless workflows for clinicians while delivering top-notch care to patients.

NowPow and CommunityHealth success story

Comprehensive healthcare is more than just a single clinic, doctor, or patient—rather, it’s a network of facilities and resources that influence one’s health. Within this network, there is no greater factor to an individual’s overall health than their socioeconomic environment. The resources people have access to make all the difference in the care they receive—when they have strong health insurance and can afford quality care, people are empowered to live better lives; when they do not, their health and wellness often suffer.

The health tech solutions being developed by our partners improve healthcare in a myriad of ways. Some use technology to rethink how clinicians move through everyday workflows; others make use of patient data to inform health system executives which services need improvement.

Other solutions connect patients to community resources that help them manage chronic and social conditions, expanding their healthcare environment and giving them access to the tools they need to lead healthier lives. This is what NowPow does for CommunityHealth, and their partnership of traditional healthcare with innovative technology is a perfect example of how integration can help address social determinants of health.

Background and challenges

For the past 24 years, CommunityHealth in Chicago has provided comprehensive medical and dental care to uninsured patients living at or below the federal poverty line. With time donated by over 1,000 volunteer physicians, nurses, dentists, pharmacists, and counselors, CommunityHealth is able to provide services ranging from primary care to specialty services, including cardiology, gynecology, neurology, and more. Preventative health screenings, diagnostic testing, dental care, and vaccinations are also available on-site to patients who would have no access to quality medical care otherwise.

Being the nation’s largest free medical facility comes with inherent challenges, chief among them providing coordinated, efficient, and precise care to thousands of uninsured patients. With CommunityHealth relying on donated resources, the need for a modernized method of making outside referrals was especially important.

CommunityHealth discovered that finding well-matched resources was challenging for their care teams. Prior to working with NowPow, care providers had been finding resources such as community food banks or dialysis clinics through word-of-mouth or online search engines. While potentially helpful, these facilities could have eligibility requirements, unexpected closures, or intake limitations that would render them unusable to the referred patients.

Without spending valuable time finding out the details of these resources—or worse, outright sending a patient to the wrong resource—knowing whether an outside service could provide legitimate help was virtually impossible.

How NowPow helps

NowPow’s goal is to close the gap between referral creators and referral receivers, making it easy to make quality, curated, closed-loop referrals. NowPow’s software aggregates and maintains a high-quality resource directory that is continuously updated by an in-house team who regularly validate that listings are operational and correct. Users can search and filter the resource database based on patient demographics, conditions, and specific needs to find well-matched resources and remove barriers to care.

Using NowPow, providers at CommunityHealth find qualified resources and provide patients with curated list of possible resources they can utilize, called a HealtheRx. This list contains resources tailored to the patient’s specific combination of needs with details on resource locations, services, contacts, and hours. HealtheRx’s can be sent to patients via text or email to give them direct, mobile access to resource information.

Another key feature of NowPow’s software is its ability to “close the loop” on patient referrals by sending referrals between organizations directly through NowPow. These referred resource organizations can document patient interactions within the NowPow platform to ensure CommunityHealth staff have a complete picture of the patient’s health and care history. Normally documented over the phone, through email, or via other manual methods, this functionality streamlines the process and allows care professionals to know whether their patients have access to referred resource organizations.

In partnership with CommunityHealth, NowPow’s powerful resource directory and functionality gives CommunityHealth clinics the power to expand the scope of their care and deliver the most effectual treatment plans to patients. CommunityHealth’s work connects patients who have limited resources with quality care, and their partnership with NowPow puts those patients in the best position to stay healthy moving forward.

Integration doesn’t have to be scary

Once CommunityHealth partnered with NowPow, figuring out how to implement their software became crucial. This meant integrating NowPow with CommunityHealth’s EHR, athenahealth, to streamline the social referral workflow for CommunityHealth staff to find well-matched resources and communicate them with patients.

To execute the integration project, NowPow partnered with Redox, the leading integration-as-a-service provider that gives partners access to healthcare’s only interoperable network. NowPow and Redox worked with CommunityHealth to understand which data feeds were available to use and how to synchronize the patient data needed to power their product.

Redox was able to identify and leverage CommunityHealth’s existing data feeds to streamline the process and make the project technically lightweight for both CommunityHealth and NowPow. Integrating through Redox ensures that information is exchanged in real time, providing clinicians and care professionals with accurate and up-to- date patient information within their workflows.

Using Redox’s standardized JSON data models to exchange clinical data via a single connection, NowPow can access important patient information stored in CommunityHealth’s EHR. With the ability to exchange information bi-directionally, NowPow activity is also visible in athenanet, facilitating seamless care coordination and communication among clinicians, care professionals, and patients.

Results, return on investment, and future plans

  • 153 patients have benefited from a NowPow interaction
  • 433 total interactions across CommunityHealth
  • 210 HealtheRxs created

CommunityHealth is a prime example of how care facilities can adopt a technology solution in order to offer more cohesive care for patients. Using NowPow, CommunityHealth can ensure that patients with limited resources are able to receive the right care, ultimately expanding their healthcare environment and and providing them with a clearer path to staying healthy.

For more on CommunityHealth and all the work they do to serve the uninsured in Chicago, click here to view their website.
For more about NowPow’s referral solution and how it helps patients receive appropriate and superior care, please click here.

“Integrating NowPow with the help of Redox was a straightforward process. We’re seeing the positive effects of a fully-integrated version of NowPow to facilitate social referrals for our patients. Through this process, the updated workflows for staff have become much more efficient, and the ultimate benefit is knowing that NowPow enables our staff to connect patients to resources that will help them live healthier lives.”

Ruth Tow
Director of Clinic Operations, CommunityHealth

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