This week, the state of Virginia launched the Virginia Emergency Department Care Coordination (EDCC) Program, a single, statewide technology solution connecting all hospital emergency departments in the Commonwealth.
Considered to be the first program in the U.S. to connect EDs across one state, the program will facilitate real-time communication and collaboration among health care providers, health plans, clinical and care management personnel for patients receiving services in Emergency Departments.
The program also integrates the state’s Prescription Monitoring Program and the Advance Healthcare Directive Registry.
“Virginia is a leader in innovation and the ED Care Coordination Program is an important step forward in making sure all people in Virginia receive the best care possible,” Virginia Governor Ralph Northam said in a statement. “Secure technology to access a patient’s critical medical information can provide physicians with vital information to increase effective and efficient care, avoid duplicative tests and save valuable time.”
“Near real-time, up-to-date information in an emergency department can assist health care providers in so many ways, from treating patients with chronic disease to knowing what medications to avoid prescribing to a patient with allergies,” Secretary of Health and Human Resources Dr. Daniel Carey said in a statement. “When you have the right care and the right information in the right setting, you are able to make the best decision for the individual patient.”
In 2017, the Virginia General Assembly established the EDCC Program within the Virginia Department of Health (VDH). This effort has involved extensive collaboration between health systems, health plans, physicians, VDH, the Department of Medical Assistance Services, and the Department of Health Professions. The program is directed by VDH, which contracts with ConnectVirginia to operate the EDCC Program. Collective Medical is the technology partner.
“The ED Care Coordination Program will help ensure appropriate care in the appropriate setting for patients, while also ensuring that their personal health information is secure,” State Health Commissioner M. Norman Oliver, M.D., said. “This program can offer peace of mind to patients and health care providers alike. I applaud the countless individuals who have worked collaboratively to make this program a reality, which helps safeguard the health and well-being of all people in Virginia and moves the state closer to becoming the healthiest state in the nation. ‘
Next steps include the participation of the State Employee Health Plan and all non-ERISA commercial and Medicare health plans operating in the Commonwealth by June 30, 2019. Additionally, the EDCC program will expand to include other downstream providers, including PCPs, case managers, nursing homes, private behavioral health providers and Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), who will have the ability to use the technology solution to receive alerts and contribute to patients’ care guidelines.