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Seamless Continuity of Care

As patients move between community-based and hospital-based care (ambulatory specialty care, emergency department or inpatient hospitalization), it is imperative that providers in both settings have accurate, real-time clinical information. BIDMC has harnessed technology to ensure this communication through Health Information Exchange (HIE) enhancements. Two years ago, the health centers and BIDMC collaborated on a HRSA-funded project to "push" emergency department and inpatient discharge summaries to primary care providers. This HIE project was the foundation of subsequent IT solutions that now provide timely communication and enhance continuity of care across settings and providers. With rising concern about unnecessary emergency department visits and re-admissions, information technology provides data to community-based providers that make possible immediate follow-up care in the community, decreasing errors, unnecessary readmissions, and duplicate tests and procedures. BIDMC is building interfaces for the downloading of lab and radiologic reports as well as notes from specialists directly into the electronic health records of community practitioners.