Patient Data with Hospital EMRs Becomes Homecare Vendor’s Focus

Homecare Technology Report informs homecare and hospice providers of healthcare technology innovations and industry news. Below lists a recent issue of the Homecare Technology Report related to how Thornberry has been setting the stage for connected care in the new homecare business environment.

We have told you about certified home care software in the past. (See “CCHIT Certification for EHR Software Finally Comes to Home Care; Stimulus Money Stays with Docs” 11/30/2011) This week, we discovered another vendor with a success story to tell.

Thornberry, Ltd. is a home care and hospice software solutions provider celebrating its 20th anniversary this month. Its roots are in connectivity, having begun with a software system for nursing documentation, NDoc that had to be able to exchange data with hospital software from its start in the early 90’s. The Lancaster, Pennsylvania-based company kept its connectivity focus through a series of NDoc modernizations so that the company is able to claim today that its users can exchange patient data with all hospital EMRs and with all state- and community-based RHIOs and HIEs.

NDoc is built atop an underlying database called Caché, from InterSystems. It is the same database beneath Epic, the Electronic Medical Record system from one of the largest hospital software vendors. InterSystems also supply a connectivity add-on, Ensemble that plugs into Caché and gives developers the ability to quickly and easily create new interfaces to meet customer needs. To date, 335 such interfaces have been built by Thornberry software developers, though that number may have grown by the time this story is published.

Thornberry calls its application of Ensemble connectivity tools in NDocConnected Care.” At the company’s annual User Conference, the team in charge of customizing NDoc with Connected Care explained that these 335 current interfaces fall into 10 categories.

  • Patient demographics out – to hospitals, labs, HIEs, etc.
  • Patient demographics in – from hospital discharges (via HL7, ECIN, etc.) into NDoc’s referral intake module
  • Home Health CAHPS
  • Physician orders to and from physician EMR systems, including signature verification
  • Patient information into and out of home telehealth software
  • Lab results: delivered directly to NDoc point-of-care laptop users
  • Supplies: mobile laptop PC receives alert when supplies have been shipped to patient home
  • Clinical results analysis
  • Internal interfaces as needed
  • External interfaces, via Ensemble, and via InterSystems’ HealthShare connectivity module

Thornberry has established a procedure by which NDoc users can propose a new interface they might need. Developers can respond to it within weeks, using tools available through InterSystems’ Ensemble tool.

Company president Tom Peth has described Ensemble as not only as a convenient tool for his software developers to use but as one of the main reasons why Thornberry Ltd. scored highly in last year’s KLAS Report from KLAS Research homecare software ratings.