Mid-Valley IPA Makes Strides in EMRs

A recently published study shows promise of using electronic medical records in community-based settings
The Lund Report
May 6, 2011 -- There are several reasons why we felt compelled to break tradition and share the Mid-Valley Independent Physicians Association (MVIPA) story. 
First, MVIPA is geographically, organizationally, and technically representative of the majority of ambulatory clinics in this country with a preponderance of small (eg, fewer than 10 healthcare providers), independent clinics in semirural and rural settings and little electronic integration with local hospitals. Second, the IPA structure represents a growing trend for clinics to form loosely coupled groups to produce economies of scale for purchasing while staying largely independent
A team of outside investigators collected data from nine clinics and was impressed with positive user reaction. If a group of very diverse small independent clinics in Oregon, spread across two large counties that include many areas designated as rural, can succeed in this endeavor, we believe similar clinics across the nation can as well.
As we discuss healthcare transformation in Oregon, the MVP Health Authority has made great strides in facilitating the efforts of independent physicians to integrate electronic health records into the delivery system in our service area.
It's a privilege to contribute to research knowledge about successful adoption and use of healthcare information technology in community practice settings. We're honored that this experienced research team felt our model was worth using as an example for others.
Dr. Greg Fraser is chief medical information officer of MVP Authority.


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Promising, but as is usually the case in such informatics-centric reports, there is no evidence of an attempt to determine whether patient outcomes have been improved. Counting how many providers use an application is easy: determining such things as the number of alerts that affected therapeutic choices or whether clinicians even pay attention to alerts is much harder, but is the heart of evaluation of such systems. I certainly hope the OHSU team will be doing this in the future. Martin Mendelson, M.D., Ph.D. Clinical Professor and Clinical Informatician Department of Health Services, S.P.H. University of Washington 503.641.5290