1. What is Care Connect?
Care Connect is the Rochester General Health System (RGHS) branded name for its Epic Electronic Medical Record (EMR) system. Care Connect is being implemented throughout the RGHS organization and is also being made available to its affiliated community physician practices. Care Connect is designed to bring patients and providers together like never before to improve patient care quality, communication, safety and efficiency.
2. What does "One Patient, One Record, One Great Health System" really mean?
It means that care providers will have access to the latest, most accurate patient records whether in the office, at the hospital, at home or anywhere they have remote computer access. It also means that, with patient consent, all of a patient’s care providers across RGHS will use a single, consistent patient record to evaluate and make decisions about the best care options. Whether visiting the oncologist, ob/gyn, dermatologist or primary care physician, one patient will be managed from one record as part of one great health system.
3. Why did Rochester General Health System (RGHS) choose the Epic Ambulatory Electronic Medical Record (EMR) and Practice Management System (PM)?
RGHS chose Epic as its partner to implement a cohesive, consistent and sustainable EMR and PM across the entire RGHS enterprise — covering our clinical, ambulatory and operational needs. Epic is widely recognized as a leader in the healthcare IT industry and RGHS and our affiliated community physicians will benefit greatly from the leveraged best practices that are a part of the current Epic applications. This integrated approach to implementation will maximize the connectivity and data sharing between physician practices, patients and RGHS — resulting in higher quality care and outcomes for each and every one of our patients. Care Connect is about making one patient, one record, one great health system a successful reality for all RGHS affiliates and partners.
4. Why are RGHS and GRIPA partnering to offer this program?
RGHS and GRIPA believe strongly in patient-centered care and are committed to working together to further this important objective. Sharing high quality clinical data to provide better care and outcomes for the patients in our community is essential to make this happen. An EMR provides the single greatest opportunity for hospitals and physician practices to achieve and sustain this high level of clinical integration and data sharing. Therefore, RGHS and GRIPA felt it was important to collaborate in an effort to increase EMR adoption by physician practices. Since cost is frequently cited as a barrier for physician practices to adopt EMR technology, RGHS is subsidizing the cost of the Care Connect standard features for a limited time, and GRIPA is sponsoring the program and supporting the outreach.
5. What is included in the one-time license and implementation fee?
The one-time fee includes the Care Connect license fees, other required 3rd party software fees, the Care Connect Support Team’s efforts, e-learning, training and go live support. The one-time fee also includes infrastructure costs related to the hosting of Care Connect within the RGHS Data Center.
6. What is included in the monthly subscription fee?
The monthly subscription fee includes application support, maintenance and upgrades for Care Connect as well as the Care Connect Support Team’s ongoing support and assistance and access to the Care Connect Help Desk.
7. What is the term of the Care Connect Community Physician Program agreement?
The term of the agreement will be specific in the contract and may be renewable as long as RGHS continues to use and host the Care Connect applications. The RGHS Subsidy Program will expire on December 31, 2013, at which time you have the option to continue the agreement while paying the full cost of the program. Continuation of the Subsidy Program is dependent upon the extension of the Stark EMR Exception and RGHS’ ability to continue the subsidized support.
8. How long will RGHS subsidize the cost of the Care Connect program?
RGHS is committed to subsidizing the cost of this program until December 31, 2013 (sunset date of the most recent Stark EMR Exception). After this time, the Care Connect Community Physician Program offering will continue to be available at fair market value.
9. What functionality is included in the Care Connect Community Physician Program?
Care Connect is a feature-rich, ambulatory-based EMR and Practice Management system. It includes nursing documentation, physician documentation (including template notes and/or voice recognition capability), electronic prescribing, health maintenance templates, immunization schedules, orders, referral and other clinical reporting and data sharing capabilities for patients within the Care Connect system. Care Connect also has the capability to scan external results or letters that come into your practice in paper format. Meaningful Use certification for the Care Connect applications is maintained through Epic.
10. How much and what type of training is included in the initial fee?
A robust and comprehensive training program is included in the fee and provides a minimum of eight hours of classroom training in addition to user training via e-learning, quick guides, a practice system (playground) and a proficiency checklist. Once the system is ready to be activated, the Care Connect Support Team will be on-site for approximately three weeks to assist with go-live support. Web-based training is available on an ongoing basis for refreshers and new staff orientation.
11. How much access will my practice have to the Care Connect Support Team?
We’ve established several Care Connect Support Teams that are solely dedicated to meeting the specific needs of our community physician practices. As a result, you will have a team of specialists at your service from the time of your initial readiness assessment right through your training, implementation and post-go live optimization phases.
12. If I pursue the Care Connect Program, who manages the practice data?
Community physicians using Care Connect manage their own practice data. The practice maintains autonomy through complete privacy of their financial data. With a patient’s consent, a patient’s data can be shared with referral physicians and other care venues that the patient may utilize within the RGHS community. These care providers will have the ability to add pertinent information to the patient’s record.
13. Are the providers able to view their schedules within Care Connect applications?
Yes, the Care Connect scheduling feature is available and viewable from within the Care Connect EMR.
14. Are the Care Connect Practice Management applications required?
Yes, in addition to the EMR, the Care Connect Community Physician Program includes, at no extra cost, an integrated suite of practice management applications for registration, scheduling and billing.
15. Will I need an internet connection to use Care Connect applications?
Yes. The applications are hosted by RGHS and you access your data through an Internet connection. A “site to site Virtual Private Network” (VPN) will be required. Most practices are already leveraging the internet for billing, third-party medical content and hospital generated information (e.g.; GRIPA Portal).
16. What level of internet connection is necessary?
RGHS recommends a business quality broadband connection to the practice. A business DSL or cable modem connection has been sufficient for practices that are currently running the Epic applications.
17. Will RGHS or GRIPA provide any hardware?
The Stark EMR Exception does not allow RGHS to provide hardware directly to the physician practices. RGHS has technology requirements for suitable practice devices. Practices will need to plan and budget for a network, Virtual Private Network (VPN), desktop and/or portable devices that are necessary for providers and their support staff to utilize Care Connect. Practice technology services are available from several pre-qualified 3rd Party IT Support Vendors.
18. Should I have security concerns about using the internet to access Care Connect applications?
It is increasingly common for application software to be hosted in remote locations. An RGHS Remote Hosted Application Security Review process is in place to periodically audit the security of the applications.
19. Is the RGHS-hosted Care Connect system HIPAA compliant?
Yes, the Care Connect applications are encrypted and accessible only to authorized individuals through a secure login with unique name and password.
20. Where is the Care Connect data stored?
The Care Connect data is stored in a secured data center maintained by RGHS. The data center is designed to withstand natural disasters and is staffed 24/7/365.
21. What is MyCare and will my patients want to use it?
MyCare is a patient portal that can be used to help you achieve Meaningful Use. MyCare will give most patients access to their current health information and lab results online. Today, thousands of patients use this type of service to view test results, schedule upcoming appointments and request prescription refills, along with many other convenient self-serve functions. Practices using this tool have reported significant reductions in the time spent managing patient requests, and dramatic increases in their patients’ satisfaction levels.
22. How will Care Connect support my needs to meet Meaningful Use and ICD-10 requirements?
Care Connect provides the necessary functionality to allow you to apply for Meaningful Use HITECH funds. RGHS and GRIPA will work closely with you to help you meet the necessary Meaningful Use requirements. Additionally, with Care Connect, ICD-10 and future upgrade requirements are included at no additional cost or implementation burden to you. No other EMR can provide this additional value!
23. If I do not purchase the Care Connect Community Physician Program how will I access my RGHS patient records and lab results?
The Care Connect system being implemented across RGHS includes a new clinical integration tool called, “CareLink.” CareLink will be available free of charge to all of our community physicians beginning in November 2011. CareLink will enable you to access and view your patients’ records and lab results – anywhere, at any time. In addition, you will be able to conveniently enter orders directly into the system, and receive automatic inpatient event notifications for your patients. CareLink will also eventually replace the current CCS system. After November, CCS will no longer be updated with live patient data for Rochester General Hospital and its affiliates. CareLink will provide the same functionality as CCS, with the additional exciting new features mentioned above. To access CareLink, you will need to complete a CareLink User Questionnaire and User Agreement. To request these forms, please contact us at CareLink@rochesterregional.org.