Making the important connections in healthcare: Greenway Health
In my previous interviews with Robin Hackney, Chief Marketing Officer, and Tina Graham, Senior Vice President, Revenue Services, we learned about Greenway Health’s (HIMSS’16 booth #4043) recent re-branding campaign and its first new mission pillar: serve.
For the third part of this “Voices of Greenway Health” series, we spoke with Scott Fannin, Vice President of Product Management and Rob Newman, Vice President of Interoperability Services. Our conversation centered upon the topic of interoperability, however, the core of our talk was Greenway Health’s second mission pillar: connect.
(Editor’s note: To hear audio excerpts of this interview, click on the media player buttons that run throughout this article.)
Free: Today’s Greenway Health is the product of multiple mergers occurring over the course of many years. How has the company benefited from its evolution from many separate companies into a single entity?
Fannin: I’m glad you asked that question because we embrace our past. We fully appreciate how the goals and mindsets of our previous iterations have provided us with the strong foundation that is required to perform our work today.
By combining our talents, experience and visions of the future, we have created what I genuinely believe is a model organization that is ideally suited for the future challenges in the healthcare industry.
Free: The second pillar of Greenway Health’s new mission is “connect.” Beyond the obvious issue of interoperability which we will address later, what are the connections that must occur in today’s current healthcare environments? Which ones are either not made or all together ignored?
Free: Continuing with the theme of connections, in terms of clinical connections, what is Greenway Health’s plan to overcome the many interoperability struggles that exist in healthcare?
That is one of the biggest things we are trying to do. Again, going back to the Greenway Exchange hub, the thought there is build it once and reuse it. We are really trying to cut cost, cut efforts and make things a lot more efficient with trying to reuse connectivity that we established not only across the same platform and across many customers, but even across different platforms Greenway has now.
Fannin: Some other challenges we have had in the industry is some of the governances of the legal aspects in termd of the connections between entities. We aim to make sure you have all the ducks in a row from a legal security standpoint and governance, especially with large organizations, is an important part of that. That oftentimes is when we start getting the attorneys involved and it can really prolong the ability to connect and exchange data.
Another thing I think is critical that though we use a lot of standards within this industry, there is not really standard implementations across the country. Every time you want to connect two entities together, there is always a conversation around what kinds of data is to be exchanged and how we are going to fill the standards, if you will, and with which data elements and what data we are going to exchange. There is still a conversation around that point instead of having just being able to turn on a system and they are live. That is where we want to get and that is where we need to get.
Free: Some studies suggest that technologies like patient portals actually push away many patients who are in the most need of care. How does Greenway create its solutions in a manner that does not isolate the patient?
Free: As an attempt to create more positive outcomes for patients, Meaningful Use was meant to help physicians make better connections with their patients via technology. How can Greenway Health assist providers in terms of meeting Meaningful Use standards?
All of our systems can fully support Stage 1 and Stage 2. We are working towards Stage 3 that has just come out, and it raises the bar even higher. Not just for the vendors, of course, but for the providers and the practices themselves. They have a lot more burden to bear on it. There is a lot more knowledge they have to have and a lot more they have to provide.
It is going to be very interesting to see how Stage 3 shakes out, but, of course Greenway Health, will be right there at the front, leading the charge on having all of our capabilities in place for our customers to be able safely and completely attest for Stage 3.
But, from a personal standpoint, I think it is going to be an industry challenge. There is a lot of interoperability in Stage 3 and it is going to require a lot of success, not just in the EHR vendor business, but in a lot of other business that have interoperability, for instance the registries, the public health organizations that we have to exchange data with.
I really see some challenges for the industry as a whole, but from Greenway’s perspective, we look at Meaningful Use as an opportunity to assist our partners to achieve our common goals of serving, connecting and caring for patients.