Bringing Long Term Care Into HIEs Without An EMR

HIEs will never achieve their full potential if all players in the healthcare process aren’t included in the network. But without an EMR to connect to the HIE, how can a provider participate?

A new software package developed by Geisinger Health System and the Keystone Beacon Community Program offers a new option allowing nursing homes, home health agencies and other long-term care facilities without EMRs to upload data to HIEs, reports EHR Intelligence.

The package, KeyHIE Transform, extracts data from the Minimum Data Set and Outcome and Assessment Information Set that nursing homes already submit to CMS. It turns that information into a Continuity of Care Document usable by any EMR which is HL7-compatible.

This approach provides a bridge to a wide range of data which currently gets left behind by most HIEs. And as EHR Intelligence rightly notes, with telehealth and remote monitoring becoming more popular ways of managing senior  health, as well as assisted living, it will be increasingly important for other providers to have access to all of the seniors’ data via the HIE.

Geisinger’s KeyHIE has already run several  pilot programs using t his technology in long-term care facilities and home health agencies. It expects to launch the technology to the market in April of this year.

As is often the case, Geisinger seems to be ahead of the market with a solution that makes great sense.  After all, finding a way to integrate new data into an HIE — especially one that draws on existing data — is likely to add significant value to that HIE.  I’m eager to see whether this technology actually works as simply as it sounds.

About the author

Anne Zieger

Anne Zieger

Anne Zieger is a healthcare journalist who has written about the industry for 30 years. Her work has appeared in all of the leading healthcare industry publications, and she's served as editor in chief of several healthcare B2B sites.


  • Question – is there any way for a nursing home that does as described above someday pull back their date to backfill a newly established EHR? Or for that matter, for a medical practice to get back electronically all the data they’ve submitted to insurers, for the same purpose? Sure, it won’t have things like test results, but a multi-year backfill of ICDs and CPTs (and add prescriptions to this) could be invaluable.

  • R Troy,
    I don’t know about this specific case, but there are ways to even take paper charts and get some of the granular data in an EHR. Plus, what you mentioned is possible with many EHRs where you pull in lab and billing data as a base of data to start your EHR journey. Depends on the vendors involved whether it’s possible though, but I’ve heard of some doing it.

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