LAFAYETTE La. (LGH and OLOL)– Lafayette General Health (LGH) and Our Lady of Lourdes (OLOL) have announced a collaborative program to share data between electronic health records to provide easier access to patients and healthcare providers at the point of care.

LGH and OLOL are two of the first healthcare organizations in the country to share and retrieve health data via the new connection between two of the leading health IT data exchange networks, managed by CommonWell Health Alliance® and Carequality. By taking part in this pilot, Lafayette General Health and Our Lady of Lourdes can now exchange patients’ electronic medical records seamlessly through the use of technology.

For Acadiana residents who see physicians at both Lafayette General Health and Our Lady of Lourdes, this means:

  • Quicker treatment decisions
  • Reduced readmissions & test duplication
  • Improved care coordination
  • Potential cost savings
  • No longer bringing your medical records from one physician to another; data is made readily available within the Electronic Health Record (EHR).

Lafayette General Health successfully completed the CommonWell-Carequality connection pilot project, which established bi-directional data sharing through directed queries between participating hospitals and health systems. CommonWell Health Alliance and Carequality came together to extend providers’ ability to request and retrieve health records electronically from other providers across the country. This interoperability helps to create a smooth and improved patient experience by facilitating the flow of patient information regardless of where the person receives care. Lafayette General Health was one of only two health systems in the country selected by CommonWell for the pilot.

“Thanks to the CommonWell-Carequality connection, our patients can have access to their medical records regardless of the electronic health record a healthcare facility uses,” said Lafayette General Health President David L. Callecod, FACHE. “When data is made readily available, providers can make diagnostic and treatment decisions more quickly, and patients can recover sooner. Better data means better communication with our patients and providers, better care and better outcomes.”

“With over twenty-eight different partners in the CareQuality CommonWell initiative, we are bridging the medical records gap between community hospitals, physicians and regional medical clinics.  This alliance represents a step forward in health record connectivity to benefit our patients,” said Our Lady of Lourdes Regional Medical Center Chief Executive Officer Bryan Lee.

Lafayette uses Cerner Millennium®, a health care IT platform designed to support and engage consumers through their health care journey across venues of care, to record and share patient information across its health system. Cerner, a global leader in health care technology, is a founding member of the CommonWell Health Alliance and Lafayette has been connected since 2017 to facilitate the exchange of health data nationwide. Rather than only being able to exchange data with providers who are on different systems through one-off, point-to-point connections, the CommonWell-Carequality connection will help Lafayette connect with a wider range of participating hospitals and health systems in the region and across the country. 
The CommonWell-Carequality connection removes a longstanding barrier to the interoperability of health data, helping increase connectivity between hospitals and health systems nationwide. Since implementing the CommonWell-Carequality connection in December 2018, Lafayette General Health and Our Lady of Lourdes have electronically shared more than 200,000 documents, which previously would have required time-consuming and manual effort using mailed or faxed copies of records. This broad exchange helps improve the coordination of care for patients who receive care from multiple locations, as many people do. Within the first few weeks of implementation, Lafayette General Health retrieved documents from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, which has a high referral rate from Lafayette.

“CommonWell and the recent integration of Carequality has been instrumental in providing a wide-ranging picture of patients and their interactions with the healthcare system,” said Africa Dauphiney, nurse practitioner, Lafayette. “It has allowed me to quickly answer a key question I often ask patients, ‘Any recent visits to other facilities?’ This allows me to create a compressive treatment plan, merging access to information and patient care.”