Partners Healthcare initiates new HIE workflow to aid hospitals in improving timely treatment for NICU patients

Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) often requires specialists to come from Boston Children’s Hospital (BCH) to evaluate and consult on patients in the BWH Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). During this process, consultant notes are generated and must be sent between the two hospitals. In the past, this was causing a lag in services and required providers to take additional steps to ensure the notes were sent correctly and efficiently from BWH to BCH. Considering the need, providers at BWH identified an opportunity to streamline the process of sharing consultant notes between the hospitals.


Keeping current systems in mind, a new process was implemented to share information using the Mass HIway: once a request has been sent from BWH for a BCH consultant, the BCH consultant will come to the BWH NICU, assess the patient, and write their consult notes in the Partners instance of Epic, BWH’s Electronic Health Record (EHR). After the note is signed by the BCH provider, a background process carried out by the Partners HIE Hub identifies this note as a document that needs to be shared with BCH, since the patient may have a need for further services from BCH in the future. The document is then sent to BCH via the Mass HIway as a PDF file.

BWH and BCH had several goals and objectives when developing this workflow. The main focus was to have the system eliminate and mitigate errors that arise from using paper and faxing or scanning of records. Providers at BWH and BCH are pleased to see how leveraging the Mass HIway and creating this background process has worked to streamline information, lessen the likelihood of lost records, and overall make the process more efficient and less time consuming.  Deborah Adair, Director, Enterprise Health Information Management at Partners Healthcare said that [they] “look forward to using the Mass HIway for additional use cases that will ultimately help improve patient care and safety as well as help our busy clinicians stay well informed and reduce administrative burden.”