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EMR Integration with CAREWare: Why work harder when you can work smarter?

How many people have you run into in the Ryan White care community that tell you they got into Ryan White funded care because they really enjoy keying in data by hand from their EMR into CAREWare? Do you know anyone who enjoys staying late to make sure that clinical data requirements for the Ryan White Services Report (RSR) are met? If you are like us, you probably don’t know anyone who like either one of those tasks, but we believe we have a better way.

Many Ryan White grant recipients and subrecipients use an Electronic Medical Record (EMR) to keep track of their patients’ clinical information. Some of the information collected in the EMR, such as current labs, medications, immunizations and HIV related medical services are also collected in CAREWare. The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), the administrator of the Ryan White HIV/AIDS program, requires grantees to report this information when a Ryan White eligible client receives an outpatient medical visit. Some Ryan White grant recipients have additional requirements for clinical data beyond HRSA’s. We recognize that manual data entry into multiple systems can be very burdensome and time consuming. We often feel like we spend more time collecting and entering data than we do with patients. Integrating an Electronic Medical Records (EMR) with CAREWare will save resources, allow staff to spend more time with patients, provide current information in both systems, reduce data entry errors and provide more complete reporting.

An integration can save time and resources. Some Ryan White providers hire full-time staff solely to stay on top of the data entry. Other providers work extra hours and stay late just to meet data entry requirement for their monthly billing. These solutions can be costly to the program and take resources away from the patients. Some of the best workers are burned out by data entry, and the cost to train new staff after turnover is high. Why work harder when we can work smarter? When you reduce the data entry burden, case managers, providers and staff have less stress and have more focused quality time with patients.

Entering data into multiple systems can cause discrepancies in the data. With manual data entry, you must account for human error. Transferring the data on a scheduled basis between systems provides the same updated information in both systems reducing the chances for data entry errors. When you have accurate and complete data, reporting becomes less of a burden. There is no longer the stress of filling in the data gaps or racing the clock to get the data entered before a deadline.

Many people think integrating their EMR with CAREWare sounds way to complicated or they believe they just do not have time to research how to get it accomplished. Well, the good news is that some EMRs already have tools in place to assist with exporting data. If a tool is not available, an interface can be created to extract data from the EMR and import it into CAREWare on a regularly scheduled basis. If your EMR allows flat data transformation which is basically exporting data in other raw formats such as excel, csv or xml, we can easily create a data import. Some of the EMRs we have worked with include EPIC, Cerner, Charm, NextGen, eClinical Works, Provide Enterprise and Practice Fusion. We have experience both with the technical side of the process and the programmatic needs of the Ryan White Grant and want to help you ensure you have the best data to do quality management and improvement and for reporting.

If you would like more information on integrating your EMR with CAREWare or have general questions, please do not hesitate to contact a member of the TriYoung team.    
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