Fort Wayne, IN – May 31, 2012 – The Wyoming Department of Health, in partnership with Medical Informatics Engineering, a web-based, Minimally Invasive™ electronic health record (EHR) provider, today announced that it is the first state to offer a free, fully certified EHR to any and all Medicaid providers in Wyoming. MIE's WebChart EHR will help providers in the state demonstrate meaningful use and qualify for American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) incentives while also helping their practice, and the state, improve patient care.
"Initially, we had a limited EHR adoption rate in Wyoming because many of our physicians come from small to mid-sized practices and were unable to find a cost effective and efficient EHR solution that wouldn't disrupt workflow," said James Bush, M.D. and Medical Director of the Wyoming Department of Health. "Many of our physicians also believed that there was no point in having an EHR if it didn't connect with a health information exchange (HIE), hospitals, labs, pharmacies and/or other physician specialists."
"By offering a free EHR to Medicaid providers, we are able to test the notion of electronic health records with minimal risk to the physician while also integrating all health data from participating Medicaid physicians into the Wyoming Department of Health's HIE. This gives us a big picture look at the state's biggest health issues and helps us strategically address these issues."
The free EHR initiative began in early 2011 and was rolled out slowly to Medicaid providers across the state. To date, the state has over 36 providers, 16 practices and over 31,000 patients registered in WebChart EHR from MIE, with all data flowing automatically into the Department of Health's HIE.
"We didn't want to roll anything out too fast until we had the implementation process perfected," continued Bush. "Physicians can sign up for the web-based EHR in less than 10 minutes. After one day of training with an MIE implementer, the practices are up and running with an EHR the very next day with minimal effort and disruption. The easy implementation, combined with an easy-to-use system, allowed the state to bring in several million dollars in meaningful use incentives in 2012."
"We've also been able to develop significant insight into the Medicaid population's biggest health issues. For example, a recent ambulatory report showed us that there were 10,709 opportunities to improve diabetes care, 1,021 Medicaid patients who didn't get flu shots this past year and over 2,000 patients who were non-compliant with their cardiology medications. This data helps us provide insights and tools to help physicians manage these healthcare gaps. It also inspired us to think about ways in which we could reach out and help these non-compliant patients."
In addition to the free EHR, the state added a personal health record (PHR) from NoMoreClipboard to the offering last month. This system is intended to encourage high cost and high risk Medicaid patients to manage their healthcare plan and help improve their quality of life. "Now, we have a way to reach out to patients, via a PHR, to determine their needs and help them address, manage and track it," said Bush.
The Wyoming Department of Health has future plans for the initiative too. "Our vision is to develop a complete patient medical home where we can build an interface between higher need Medicaid patients and all of the medical providers who handle their care. The patient will be able to communicate with their physicians in a secure, electronic format either online via e-mail or via their mobile phones and every physician who touches the patient will have accurate, full record on them at all times," Bush concluded.
MIE offers a Minimally Invasive™ suite of products that are easy to use, flexible and cost effective. MIE solutions are in use today by over 2,500 clinics and hospitals throughout the U.S. and by corporate employee health clinics in 17 countries around the world in 6 languages. MIE also provides advanced solutions for chronic disease management, personal health records and complete wellness modules. For more information, visit.
The Wyoming Department of Health works to promote, protect, and enhance the health of all Wyoming citizens. The Wyoming Department of Health is the primary state agency for providing health and human services administering programs maintaining the health and safety of all citizens of Wyoming and our primary approach in solving health problems is prevention. For more information, visit.