Foothold Technology, a leading provider of electronic health record (EHR) software for behavioral healthcare and human service providers, announced that the Foothold AWARDS software application has achieved successful testing of data exchanges with several health information exchanges (HIEs) and is now fully interoperable. This success marks the beginning of Foothold's Interoperability Center, which is enabling healthcare providers in any Health Home or other coordinated care model across the country to participate in safe, secure, HIPAA-compliant data exchanges as required by the Affordable Care Act of 2010.
The Affordable Care Act of 2010 created an optional Medicaid State Plan benefit for states to establish Health Homes and other HIEs to coordinate care for people with Medicaid who have chronic conditions. Health Homes are care providers that operate under a "patient-centric" philosophy by integrating and coordinating all primary, acute, behavioral health, and long-term services and support to treat the whole person.
The implementation of EHRs among behavioral and other healthcare providers across the nation has accelerated to meet new care delivery and documentation requirements, but EHRs do not necessarily offer interoperability, or the ability to exchange data automatically with other data management systems while interpreting the information being shared. AWARDS is one of very few EHRs with the capability to use the IHE-certified technical protocols that are standard in the healthcare technology industry.
"For many of our providers, this achievement will revolutionize the way they provide services, because they will be able to see a client's entire history of care across a spectrum of providers in their community; as a result, they will now be able to manage cases more knowledgeably and efficiently," says Marlowe Greenberg, CEO of Foothold. "We're proud to help realize a vision in which providers can better collaborate to deliver more effective care to people in need."
Earlier in the year, Foothold announced a partnership with InterSystems, a global leader in software for connected care, to integrate the Foothold AWARDS software system with the InterSystems HealthShare® strategic informatics platform. Said Greenberg,"Because of our partnership with InterSystems, providers who use AWARDS can participate in any health information exchange across the country without duplicate data entry. AWARDS will serve as a single portal to send and receive data in any format required, safely and securely."
Paul Grabscheid, Vice President of Strategic Planning at InterSystems, said,"We are pleased to work with Foothold to support the data exchange needs for a new community of behavioral healthcare providers, further extending the benefits of connected healthcare. Because InterSystems HealthShare is IHE-certified for interoperability, we can fully support Foothold's vision with a strategic interoperability platform."
"Foothold has been a true partner to us as our organization is undergoing massive changes to prepare for healthcare reform," noted Peter Beitchman, Executive Director of The Bridge, a nonprofit agency offering housing and mental health services, which participated in the data exchange. "While we know that data exchange will be of great benefit to the seriously mentally ill, chemically dependent, and homeless clients we serve, the rapidly changing environment poses enormous data-tracking and reporting challenges. With AWARDS as our record-keeping system, we are able to stay ahead of developments while serving our clients and protecting their information."
Irene Koch, Executive Director of the Brooklyn Health Information Exchange (BHIX), said,"New York is one of the first states to fully implement health information exchange. BHIX has been a leader in New York for advancing interoperability to support new models of care to better coordinate care for New Yorkers. In the near future, HIE will be a requirement for delivering care in New York, particularly with the development of the State Health Information Network of New York (SHIN-NY), and across the nation. We are especially mindful of how HIEs will evolve across the healthcare industry."
"As regulations and protocols for seamlessly sharing patient data are developed, and policies that protect privacy across the country are harmonized, what is becoming clear is the increasing importance for providers to implement an EHR that will be flexible, from a vendor that will be engaged in the process throughout this historic shift," Greenberg added.
About Foothold Technology
Foothold Technology (footholdtechnology.com) offers web-based software for human service providers that lifts the burden of documentation, providing the freedom to focus on their mission. More than 600 agencies across the nation count on Foothold's AWARDS to manage their services, including Mental Health, Alcohol & Substance Abuse, Developmental Disabilities, Homeless & Housing, Employment & Training, Youth & Family, and more. Having originated from three agencies in 2000, AWARDS is a complete Electronic Health Record that also supports administrative activities, including facilities maintenance, human resources, scheduling and alerts, audit reports, and automated billing. AWARDS is fully interoperable with other federally certified systems and is the only record-keeping system that is certified as both a Behavioral Health EHR and a Homeless Management Information System (HMIS).
InterSystems (intersystems.com) is a global leader in software for connected care, with headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and offices in 25 countries. InterSystems HealthShare® is a strategic platform for healthcare informatics, enabling information exchange and active analytics across a hospital network, community, region or nation. InterSystems CACHÉ® is the world's most widely used database system in healthcare applications. InterSystems Ensemble® is a platform for rapid integration and the development of connectable applications. InterSystems' products are used by thousands of hospitals and laboratories worldwide, including all of the top 15 hospitals on the Honor Roll of America's Best Hospitals as rated by U.S. News and World Report.
BHIX (bhix.org) is a Regional Health Information Organization (RHIO) devoted to developing, deploying, operating and promoting innovative uses of interoperable health information technology to facilitate patient-centric care in Brooklyn and surrounding areas. BHIX was established in 2007 as a community-driven collaboration between providers and payers interested in improving patient care across healthcare settings.
About The Bridge
The Bridge's mission (thebridgeny.org) is to change lives by offering help, hope and opportunity to the most vulnerable in our community through mental health and substance abuse treatment, housing, vocational training and job placement, healthcare, education and creative arts therapy.
Vicki Eng, Foothold Technology, P: (212) 780-1450 x8039 - E: vicki[.]footholdtechnology.com.
Vivienne DeStefano, BHIX, P: (718) 283-6960 - E: vdestefano[.]bhix.org.
Ann Hyatt, The Bridge, P: (212) 663-3000 x379 - E: ahyatt[.]thebridgeny.org.