Caritas Offers Docs Athenahealth EMR Option

Caritas Christi Health Care will offer electronic medical record software from Athenahealth to its 1,700 doctors in New England.
However, the biggest concentration of Caritas Christi doctors who are using e-health record systems have implemented eClinicalWorks. That's in large part because many of those doctors received the software several years ago for free as part of a $50 million e-health pilot program funded by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts.

Under that program, doctors in three Massachusetts communities -- including those in the Brockton, Mass. area, a city south of Boston -- were provided with free eClinicalWorks systems and services for their practices.

Brockton is also home to Caritas Christi's Good Samaritan Medical Center, helping to explain the high adoption rate of e-health records among Caritas Christi employed and affiliated doctors in that region of Massachusetts, Rothenhaus said. As for Good Samaritan, the hospital is Caritas Christi's most IT-advanced facility, said Rothenhaus.

"Brockton is our biggest success so far," he said.

Good Samaritan recently rolled out a new computerized physician order-entry system and the hospital itself is a Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society stage-six user of EMRs, out of seven stages, meaning the facility is currently considered an advanced user of e-health records compared with the vast majority of hospitals in the U.S.

However, the meaningful-use criteria set out by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services last week proposes that hospitals by 2015 will need to have a majority of clinicians using EMR systems at stages six and seven -- including using these systems to improve care coordination and public health populations -- in order to meet stimulus reward requirements.

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