Well, the conference is now over (and I hope to have a post reflecting on all the amazing things that went on, but I am still catching up!) and in fact we were back in Fishkill today debriefing.

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One of the coolest things looking back is how right we were with our big ideas, as confirmed by the conference attendees.

COIS (Cross Provider Information Sharing) is a concept that we have been working with and thinking about since Therap started, and infact we have even implemented versions of it.  The problem up to now has been that although it worked technically, the solutions we had come up with did not work within the realities of employees from multiple agencies working on the same document and communicating directly with each other.

One example I often use is where an individual is hurt at day program and an incident report is generated.  Do they want to share that incident report with the residential agency?  (probably yes), as soon as it is written by a DSP (probably no), can both agencies comment directly on the same report (technically we could make it happen, but you don’t want it to).  I could go on for paragraphs with questions which either have an answer of “No Way!” or “It depends” and computers in general are not that good at “it depends”.

In this latest version of COIS we believe that we have most of the answers and we have an implementation path that will get us the rest of them safely as me move along.

Probably the biggest hurdle is actually identifying that the records of one individual in two providers are about the same person.  How do you do this when you can’t ask the other for a list of their individuals to pick from and you can’t give them a list of yours (both would be HIPAA violations and probably not good business practice).  We have a wonderful and elegant solution to this that we showed in Fishkill.

Once that link is there each agency can now choose which of their staff are allowed to send SComms over that link.  So if I have been given permission by my Provider Admin, I can send and receive care SComms about individuals in my caseload to users at the other agency who have access to the same individual and have been given permission to do so by their Provider Admin.

Phase one of the implementation will involve setting up the link and sending SComms.  After that we will start being able to attach Therap forms.

Having spoken to so many users about this and shown then a pre-alpha version, I am more excited than ever and think this will be a real game changer.

:: Justin ::