December 18, 2012 – Portland based OCHIN, Inc. has assembled a powerful team of MDs, informaticists and medical healthcare improvement professionals to address the data and quality needs of Oregon healthcare providers. Scott Fields, MD has been hired as Chief Medical Officer (CMO) and will lead the team. Dr. Fields is a nationally recognized family physician and currently serves as Vice Chairman of the Department of Family Medicine at Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU). His work on the OHSU Ambulatory Epic EHR installation and his data expertise are strengths that directly complement the current needs of Oregon providers.
Jonathan Merrell, RN, BSN, MBA, Improvement Advisor (IHI), and former LCDR in the United States Public Health Service, joined OCHIN as VP of Performance Improvement in October. Mr. Merrell has an extensive background in emergency and critical care nursing, clinical applications and process improvement. Previously, he was responsible for system wide improvement for the Cherokee Nation Health Services in Oklahoma where he led performance improvement activities focusing on the Institute for Healthcare Improvement‘s Triple Aim. His OCHIN responsibilities are a perfect skills match in analytics oversight, survey readiness, utilization management and quality improvement.
Tim Burdick, MD is currently the Interim Director of Medical Informatics with the University of Vermont’s Fletcher Allen Health Care – Vermont's only tertiary-care academic medical center. He will join OCHIN in February 2013 as the Chief Medical Informatics Officer (CMIO). Dr. Burdick’s experience optimizing the physician-EHR interface to increase usability and simultaneously improve data quality will promptly be put to work maximizing physician usage of the OCHIN Epic EHR. He will also practice medicine at OHSU.
D’Angela Merrell, RN, BSN, HIP, and former LCDR in the United States Public Health Service, joined OCHIN as Clinical Improvement Professional in October. Reporting to the CMIO, her role will be to help improve clinical quality and performance. She will also lead innovations projects that will improve quality outcomes, decrease costs and improve member experience. Ms. Merrell has extensive expertise in system wide physician performance, Medicare compliance, and she provided data collection expertise on the National Data Nursing Quality Indicators (NDNQI) Project.
The team is already focused on improving quality by building a robust data repository linking claims and clinical data that currently includes nearly 2.5 million patients who are on an electronic health record. Linking and using clinical data as well as claims data creates a story about the health of a population of patients. It allows real-time information to be delivered back to providers to impact practice patterns while creating data that can inform the highest levels of policy.
“With Oregon’s Coordinated Care Organizations (CCO) quickly developing, OCHIN is poised to assist in data aggregation across the state of Oregon and the nation,” said OCHIN CEO, Abby Sears. Built to help Oregon’s federally qualified health clinics (FQHC) to transition out of paper into the electronic medical record, OCHIN has evolved and includes the ability to assist clinics, individual providers and small hospitals with data extraction to improve quality and patient and public health outcomes.
Selected by the federal government as Oregon’s Health Information Technology Center (O-HITEC) in 2010, OCHIN further expanded to include over 3700 individual medical providers in small practices and small hospitals serving Oregon’s urban and rural patients. OCHIN extends Health IT products and services to these private providers and hospitals who are benefiting from the member collaborative that is an experienced 14 state health information exchange (HIE).
The OCHIN data and quality team will be expediting services to OCHIN and O-HITEC members to address their needs to meet the federal Affordable Care Act requirements as well as the new state requirements.
Dr. Fields commented, “these powerful Health IT tools are woefully underutilized and we intend to drive clinician innovation and efficiency by supporting Oregon providers so they can capitalize on their investments to ultimately improve patient care”.