Merge, athenahealth go for integration

Link imaging network with EHRs via cloud
By Mike Miliard
10:53 AM

Merge Healthcare is partnering with athenahealth to offer providers the ability to receive and view diagnostic images, exam results and other patient information within their electronic health records.

Under the partnership, athenahealth will integrate its cloud-based athenaClinicals EHR with Merge's iConnect Network. Officials from both companies tout the project as another step toward advanced interoperability between radiologists and other physicians, helping to decrease duplicate tests and radiation exposure, improve patient outcomes and physician satisfaction and reduce costs.

[See also: Merge Healthcare launches free cloud-based imaging network .]

"With today's healthcare environment shifting from volume-based to value-based care models, there's an increasing need for the industry as a whole to break down the walls surrounding clinical data to enable care teams to access patient information when they need it," said Doran Robinson, vice president of healthcare transactions at athenahealth, in a press statement.

"By integrating iConnect Network within our cloud-based EHR workflow, we'll enhance communications between physicians and radiologists and speed the routing and availability of imaging studies to caregivers," he said. "Together with Merge, we believe that information sharing is key to the advancement of care delivery." 

With its iConnect Network, Merge can deliver reports directly into athenaClinicals, giving users real-time access to view important diagnostic information, such as imaging studies and interpretations, within their existing EHR workflow.

[See also: Imaging to play bigger role in health IT.]

With meaningful use Stage 2 upping requirements for accessing images, officials say Merge will help physicians attest more quickly and cost effectively.

"Our partnership with athenahealth provides a robust service for advanced interoperability giving providers immediate access to critical patient information across the continuum of care," said Justin Dearborn, CEO, Merge Healthcare, in a statement.