|TIER technology benefits community|
TIER technology will benefit staff, consumers, and the wider health care community
Riverbend has made a significant commitment of time and resources over the years to more effectively manage the efficiency, flexibility, and security of its electronic records. TIER (Totally Integrated Electronic Records) has been an aspect of the Riverbend technology landscape for over a decade now, and has played an important role in improving record-keeping efficiencies throughout the organization.
But over the past few years — facilitated by the passage of the federal Affordable Care Act in 2009 — TIER is becoming a broader, interagency initiative promising to bring a range of new benefits to our staff, consumers, and our community partners in the medical community.
Internal benefits being realized today
TIER has already improved a range of internal processes at Riverbend according to Agnes Miner, Riverbend's Chief Information officer.
"We are a multi-site agency," said Miner, "and in the past clinicians at one location often could not access records stored at a different site. Today, now that all records are integrated on a common platform, our staff can access what they need instantly, without making phone calls or submitting special requests."
Riverbend will also be integrating its clinical and business systems, saving an enormous amount of administrative time.
"In the past, consumer services were entered into the clinical system, which documents consumer conditions and treatments, and then entered separately into the business system," Miner continued. "Now, the data entered into the clinical system will automatically generate the data needed for billing and other financial needs. Duplicate data entry will be largely eliminated."
How does this benefit Riverbend consumers?
Other than providing affiliated healthcare providers with the information they need to diagnose, treat, and prescribe more effectively, the system will eventually also provide a way for consumers to view some of their own records at Riverbend through the Internet. The specifics of this "consumer portal" have yet to be worked out, but might include the capability for a consumer to update demographic information, schedule appointments, and view their medications and treatment protocols online.
Enhancing security and portability
"One of the things people often worry about in any electronic data storage and portal access arrangement is security," Miner said. "We are building in multiple levels of security to our system to meet all the requirements of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) and the HITECH Act of 2009."
"It's a balancing act that requires us to strengthen the safeguards for Protected Health Information (PHI) while also enabling the secure electronic exchange of PHI, as well as establishing interoperability between systems both internally and externally," Miner added. "It's been a huge undertaking, and the support we've received from our staff and community partners has been extremely helpful as we work through all the details."
"TIER is an ongoing process, and Riverbend is certainly prepared and ready to consider and implement emerging TIER capabilities and features as they become available," Miner concluded.
Part of a national effort
"When fully implemented, this electronic system will enable a physician treating a Riverbend consumer for diabetes, for example, to instantly see on his or her computer screen what medications a Riverbend psychiatrist may have prescribed for a mental health issue. That system capability alone will improve the quality of care and benefit our consumers. But the full implementation of this technology also holds great promise in reducing overall healthcare costs," said Allan Moses, Riverbend Senior Vice President & CFO.
To learn more about the software technology platform that Riverbend is customizing to meet our local TIER goals see the Netsmart website.
- Two Appointed to Governor's Commission
- Health Buddy 2013 Program of Significance by National Council for Behavioral Health
- Looking Back, Moving Forward
- The Rainbow Awards
- Riverbend Honors Four Champions for Mental Health
- Josephson Shares Health Buddy Results with Washington
- TIER technology benefits community
- Janssen Pharmaceuticals Awards Grant