cdmNet expands into preventative health collaboration

Precedence Health Care has expanded the capabilities of its cdmNet chronic disease management software to include a number of common preventative health assessments such as the 45-49 health check and home medicine reviews so they can be integrated into one plan of care.

cdmNet was originally aimed at assisting GPs to create GP management plans (GPMPs) and team care arrangements (TCA) that are accessible to all members of the patient's care team, including specialists, allied health professionals and nurses as well as the GP and the patient themselves.

It is still very much used for this purpose, with Precedence Health Care founder and CEO Michael Georgeff estimating that plans for 35,000 patients have been created as well as over $10 million revenues from chronic disease management MBS items processed using the technology.

It is also a productivity tool for general practices as it can automate a number of processes and workflows involved in collaborative care, including complying with Medicare, collection of documentation and automated reminders for patients.

Professor Georgeff said it is particularly useful for ensuring that GPMPs and TCAs are regularly reviewed, which is where the real benefit of shared care is apparent.

While Precedence charges a percentage of each chronic disease MBS item claimed, the company is now offering the system for free to GPs who can use it for sharing health information, tracking patient care, and preventative health planning for pre-diabetes, for example.

The idea is to continue to use it for long-term management of chronic disease but also harness its capabilities for preventative health.

“Whereas before we were focused pretty much solely on chronic disease management, we are now very much focused on facilitating the long-term management of patients, whether that be preventative care, chronic disease care or pre-chronic illness,” Professor Georgeff said.

Even though many health assessments are available in general practice software, by using cdmNet it is now possible to bring all of those assessments – and the many interventions they recommend – together in one place.

“You have all of these different sources of interventions which are scattered everywhere but there is no central place you can go to that will tell you what everyone on your care team is doing. No one knows what everyone else is doing.

“What we are trying to do is fundamentally have a plan and a shared health record and progress notes so everyone knows what everyone is doing, including the patient.”

The idea is that everyone on the care team will receive a notification if a progress note or a new referral is generated, he said. This can be in the form of an email or SMS message – or even a fax – but team members can also log in to cdmNet through their browsers as it is web-based.

“You can log in through the browser to see your patient list, and if there is something new, there will be a 'red flashing light',” he said. “That means you can be proactive rather than reactive.”

While the basic model is free, those applications within cdmNet that add to the productivity of the practice will still continue to be charged a small fee for revenue-earning MBS items.

“The model is that if there is an MBS incentive payment associated with it, then we will take a small amount of that. But if there is not – for example, on preventative care there is usually no incentive payment associated – all of that is free.

“If you want to get notifications that this patient is due for a care plan, track services and interventions across the care team, send reminders to patients, or you want a shared health record, that is all completely free.”

cdmNet is now integrated into Zedmed and Monet in addition to Best Practice and Medical Director, and is also used in number of projects and studies for population-level healthcare. It is the technology that has been used to facilitate the government's two-year Diabetes Care Project as well as Healthdirect Australia's after hours GP helpline.

cdmNet was shown to have positive benefits for diabetes care in a paper published in the Medical Journal of Australia last year, which was recently awarded a highly commended citation in the AMA Victorian branch's Sir Richard Stawell awards. It is also endorsed by the RACGP as a product supporting quality improvement in general practice.

The use of cdmNet is also growing, particularly by Medicare Locals but also in the corporate general practice market, Professor Georgeff said. For example, Precedence Health Care signed an agreement with IPN late last year to roll it out throughout that network.

The company is also working with RDNS to trial cdmNet as a tool to allow GPs and visiting nurses to share care plans for people being monitored at home. Professor Georgeff said this would be invaluable to nurses who currently have to personally contact a client's GP to check on medications.

Mobility is high on the agenda for cdmNet, but Professor Georgeff said the company would work with third parties to integrate data from monitoring devices and mobile devices rather than build any itself. “We want to create a network of cloud-based services that are best of breed for a number of purposes, including patient support and mobility,” he said.

Posted in Australian eHealth

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