Electronic Health Record Eases HIV, AIDS Reporting - InformationWeek

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12/20/2011
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Electronic Health Record Eases HIV, AIDS Reporting

EHR module is optimized to meet HIV, AIDS reporting requirements and certified to Meaningful Use standards.

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5 Key Elements For Clinical Decision Support Systems
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Virco Lab, an independently operated biotechnology and diagnostics software subsidiary of pharmaceutical manufacturer Johnson & Johnson, has released what may be the first electronic health records (EHR) system both optimized for HIV and AIDS care and certified to federal Meaningful Use standards.

The Raritan, N.J.-based vendor has released Aviga, a Web-based EHR that includes features specific to providing HIV and AIDS care or conducting research into the disease, and Aviga Reporter, a module that adds HIV reporting capability to other EHR systems. The products are rebranded updates of LabTracker HIV, which Virco acquired from Ground Zero Software, a San Francisco-based developer of disease-specific and custom-built EHRs, in December 2009.

Michael J. Tobin, Virco's executive director for policy and payment, said that LabChecker HIV is installed at about 35 sites nationwide.

Both Aviga and Aviga Reporter have earned Stage 1 Meaningful Use certification as EHR modules--not complete EHRs--by federally designated testing body the Drummond Group. Providers must use certified EHRs to qualify for Medicare and Medicaid bonuses under the Meaningful Use program. One Stage 1 quality measure requires reporting of whether an expectant mother was screened for HIV during the first or second visit for prenatal care.

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Tobin told InformationWeek Healthcare that Aviga is suitable for any primary care practice, though it is made for HIV clinics and other practices that see HIV-positive patients. HIV treatment and research generally carry federal, state, and/or local government reporting obligations, particularly in programs funded by the Ryan White Comprehensive AIDS Resources Emergency (CARE) Act. "What we found was that a lot of broad-based EHRs that are being implemented at the institutional level don't really satisfy these reporting requirements," Tobin said.

Both Virco EHR products have specific data-capture and patient monitoring capabilities on such metrics as viral load and response to antiretroviral therapy, according to Brian Wasikowski, the company's director of health IT alliances and customer support. The Aviga Reporter bolt-on module captures data from a practice's main EHR and from outside sources, including labs and pharmacies, cutting down on duplicate data entry and the need to type forms manually, Wasikowski added. The interface is unidirectional, however, so the HIV module cannot send information back to the EHR.

Both Aviga and Aviga Reporter have role-based security controls, so only those with a legitimate need to see a patient's HIV-related data may do so.

Wasikowski said the update is a "pretty generic platform" necessary to achieve certification. That means the EHR could be adapted rather easily to other specialties. "We are investigating other areas we can expand to," he said, but would not offer further information.

When are emerging technologies ready for clinical use? In the new issue of InformationWeek Healthcare, find out how three promising innovations--personalized medicine, clinical analytics, and natural language processing--show the trade-offs. Download the issue now. (Free registration required.)

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