North Country Healthcare (NCH) is an FQHC that provides services at 20 sites throughout northern Arizona. NCH submitted its application to participate in the Arizona Health-e Connection (AzHeC) Regional Extension Center (REC) in the RECs first month of operation in 2010.
NCH’s Lake Havasu site, staffed by four providers, went live on its certified EHR in October of 2011, and activated the reporting and e-prescribing capabilities of the system to reach the M2 milestone in December. The providers in Lake Havasu have relied on the REC throughout this process, from the first two attestations to Meaningful Use in February of 2013 to the most recent one by a new provider in August of 2015.
Because the Lake Havasu site was prepared to generate transition of care documents so early, it was one of three sites selected to participate in an exchange of patient data between NCH and Mohave Mental Health Clinic, which serves many patients receiving care at the Lake Havasu site. Providers from both organizations worked as sub-recipients of the Unconnected Providers Health Information Exchange grant program to identify the information to be exchanged and develop the associated workflows. They then successfully used the Direct transport protocol to exchange Continuity of Care Documents and Clinical Summaries
NCH continues to participate in the Arizona Medicaid EHR Incentive Program. The organization is currently in discussion with the Practice Innovation Institute Practice Transformation Network, with the intention to participate in the Transforming Clinical Practice Initiative.
AzHeC operates the REC and also The Network, Arizona’s statewide health information exchange (HIE). Many members of the REC have joined The Network, including NCH, which will soon be set up to send patient information into the HIE and receive alerts and notifications on hospital admissions, discharges, transfers and abnormal lab results.