OurHealth taps athenahealth to integrate Salesforce, portal, other apps

The healthcare staffing company also tapped into the cloud-based vendor’s More Disruption Please innovator’s program, CIO Sherry Slick said.
By Bill Siwicki
11:06 AM
OurHealth My Clinic

Photo via OurHealth.org

OurHealth, which assists employers in setting up, staffing and running on-site or near-site health centers, will use athenahealth’s EHR and practice management services to support its nearly 40 employer-sponsored clinics.

When it came to working with the information systems of varied employers as well as other information systems OurHealth itself needed, integration was key.

Athenahealth’s platform enabled OurHealth to build directly into other systems’ APIs, allowing for the integration of, for example, patient portals and Salesforce systems into athenahealth, said Sherry Slick, chief information officer at OurHealth. This enables OurHealth to connect the business data with clinical data to provide a complete picture of performance, and a 360-degree view of the patient, maximizing OurHealth's ability to assist patients with their health and wellness efforts, she added.

"Syncing patient demographics between the various systems facilitates efficient communication processes."

Sherry Slick, OurHealth

In addition, OurHealth tapped into athenahealth’s More Disruption Please marketplace, leveraging a digital check-in app. The athenahealth platform enables integration of the app to better support the patient experience and free up front-office staff, Slick said. And OurHealth has an integration with a health information exchange in Indiana.

Having all of these internal and external systems integrated to its EHR has benefitted the employer health organization in a variety of ways, Slick added. 

“Efficiency, collaboration, continuity of care and patient safety are key benefits of these integrated systems,” Slick said. “Syncing patient demographics between the various systems facilitate efficient communication processes. If a patient reports a cell phone number change via the patient portal, that information is propagated to athenahealth and Salesforce such that our clinic staff and member relations team have the correct info to call our patients.”

Appointment reminders, lab result notifications and referral services coordination all are dependent on having the correct contact information for a patient, she added.

“Clinical staff members are able to see the health coaching notes and goals from previous encounters,” Slick said. “When a member relation specialist is scheduling an appointment for a patient, they would be able to see from their Salesforce Patient 360 Console that a referral coordinator has been trying to reach the patient regarding a recent referral that has come from the providers in the clinics.”

Further, the accuracy of information, efficiencies and collaboration offered by these various integrations plays directly into facilitating continuity of care and improving patient safety within the clinics, she added.

OurHealth is able to see more patients at each site, improving the savings and experience it is able to provide to its clients and patients, Slick said. Most important, the increase in number of patients seen is not done at a cost to patient safety, she added.

“There is strong historical evidence that having a healthcare industry filled with disparate systems leads to operational inefficiencies, duplicative efforts, patient safety concerns and expanding costs to manage an ever-growing healthcare market,” Slick said.

Twitter: @SiwickiHealthIT
Email the writer: bill.siwicki@himssmedia.com