Treant Zorggroep bundles forces with three hospital locations and 17 centres for nursing and elderly care in the Emmen-Hoogeveen-Stadskanaal region in the Northern part of the Netherlands. The care professionals at Treant Zorggroep have specialised knowledge and skills to help people with medical problems overcome their uncertainty and physical complaints. In consultation with the patient, they determine a state-of-the-art treatment. By working together intensively, the care providers of Treant Zorggroep can offer a wide range of specialist medical care.
When it is decided that a patient will receive a hip, knee or shoulder replacement at the orthopaedic department of Treant Zorggroep, a process is started to measure the pre- and postoperative PROMs (Patient Reported Outcome Measurements) at various evaluation points. Treant uses the OnlinePROMS application to do so. The OnlinePROMS application was not integrated into the hospital’s EMR. This resulted in a lot of time spent on manually typing in each patient’s records and information, inflexibility in the case of changes in an appointment, and a higher risk of mistakes and safety issues – patients have to fill in their patient number, while often not being aware of their number, which leads to patients not being findable.
To save the orthopaedic department time and reduce the risk of human mistakes, Treant Zorggroep wanted a structured solution to integrate OnlinePROMS – and possible future applications used in other departments – into their EMR.
The integration of applications often is a lengthy and costly process for the EMR. The partnerships we have with EMRs makes integration on their side a lot easier, but for hospitals it remains a complex endeavour. Treant Zorggroep turned to Founda Health to take care of it. We connected the hospital’s EMR and OnlinePROMS to our platform and built a solution based on triggers.
For every trigger in the EMR by the healthcare provider – a scheduled surgery, for example – an encrypted HL7 message is being sent to the Founda Health Platform. Then, the message is interpreted and translated to FHIR by the Founda connector, encrypted again and sent to OnlinePROMS to create a patient. Based on the planned surgery or admission date, OnlinePROMS in turn sends out follow-up notifications through the Founda Health Platform to patients for the questionnaire. The notification date changes automatically when the date of the surgery or admission is changed, to ensure that the questionnaire does not exceed the maximum validity period.
The registration of Treant Zorggroep’s patients and follow-up to and from OnlinePROMS shifted from manual to automatic, saving the department over 200 hours per year on administration. OnlinePROMS has been seamlessly integrated in the EMR workflow (using existing triggers), so no customisation was necessary – healthcare providers can now do everything from the EMR instead of switching between the application and EMR.
Secondly, the follow-up work is vastly reduced with the integration. Relevant messages that need follow-up (i.e., due to thresholds being reached or no response to the questionnaire) are being prioritised. If everything is correct within a patient’s entry in OnlinePROMS, a follow-up is not necessary.
Lastly, patient privacy and safety is ensured with the encryption of the messages and patient data. Founda Health never has insight in the content of the message or the data. Additionally, Treant can filter, so Founda Health does not receive unnecessary messages. In turn, the Founda Health Platform filters out the encrypted patient records so OnlinePROMS only receives the data that is necessary for proper use of the application.
Treant Zorggroep chose Founda Health as their integration partner for the future-proof aspect of the platform. Founda seamlessly integrates into an existing process, so there is no need to change, adapt or keep investing in lengthy patchwork solutions. Additionally, the platform allows for a one-time integration – the solution based on the trigger ‘scheduled surgery’ can be reused for every (new) application that Treant Zorggroep might use.
Furthermore, instead of a mega project that has to be massively tested (taking heaps of time from both IT and the provider), we opt for a step-by-step agile approach. This makes expanding possible in a natural way with small changes at a time. Treant Zorggroep is currently looking together with Founda Health to expand the solution in other specialisms as well.
We aim to break down the barriers that block access to digital transformation. By supporting hospitals in innovation and improving collaboration, they can focus on what they do best: care for their patients.