CASE STUDY

Discover how Axia Women’s Health Solved Patient Data Integrity Challenges for M&A Success

After a large merger of two health groups and continued expansion via smaller acquisitions, Axia Women’s Health faced a data integrity challenge: consolidating all of its data into its EHR and associating this data to the correct patients. Axia had to overcome this challenge quickly because staff and clinicians were becoming frustrated by duplicate medical records that resulted in incomplete clinical histories at the point of care.

Challenge

Axia Women’s Health formed from the 2017 merger of Regional Women’s Health Group in New Jersey and Women’s Health Care Group of Pennsylvania to become the largest integrated women’s healthcare provider in the U.S., with more than 275 providers and 100 health centers. After this merger, Axia continued expanding its service offerings through acquisitions to include all women’s health specialties, including obstetrics, gynecology, fertility, maternal fetal medicine, mammography, and laboratory services. But Axia quickly faced a data integrity challenge: it needed to migrate patient data from 25 disparate sources into one EHR, and it was very difficult to associate all of the data to the correct patients. In other words, Axia had a patient matching problem.

This prevented the promise of the merger and acquisitions from being realized—Axia was unable to display a comprehensive health record for each patient, and its personalized marketing efforts were negatively impacted. And clinicians were noticing. In fact, Axia’s IT help desk was inundated with record-merge requests from care centers that were reporting fragmented medical records. Axia deemed it too risky to trust its existing patient matching technology to overcome its data integrity challenges because at its size and with its patient mix, Axia knew it would be common for many patients to share names and birthdates and to have similar addresses. As a women’s health care provider, many patients change their last names and addresses during their lives. Axia recognized that these demographic data issues would be an insurmountable challenge for most patient matching solutions, especially when consolidating data at Axia’s scale and from so many disparate sources. In short, Axia needed a patient matching solution that it could trust to overcome demographic data challenges to accurately match patient data at rapidly growing scale and at low cost.

Solution

“Verato uses a modern cloud-based approach that integrates well with legacy technologies while keeping up with the most modern approaches ensuring a future-proof deployment. ”

Dave Bonewicz, Senior Manager Data Governance,
Axia Women’s Health

To fix its data integrity challenges, Axia relied on Verato to:

  • Perform an initial cleanup of its consolidated patient database to automatically eliminate duplicate records and connect the right data with the right patients.
  • Ensure that new duplicate records would not be created in the future, either from future M&A activity or from registration staff.

Axia chose to use Verato and its cloud-based master person Referential Matching services to accomplish both of these goals. Verato delivered the next generation of patient matching that Axia knew it needed. Verato couples sophisticated algorithms with a highly-curated reference database of demographic data, that spans the entire U.S. and contains a 30-year history of demographic data. Verato’s smart algorithms leverage this database as an “answer key” for patient demographic data to match patient records with unprecedented accuracy. Axia first used Verato to clean up its consolidated patient database by identifying and merging duplicate medical records—providers and staff noticed immediately. Next, Axia incorporated Verato into workflows to prevent duplicate medical records from being created by registration staff in the future. And because Verato is cloud-based, Axia was able to go live in weeks, integrating Verato with its eClinicalWorks® EHR through simple HL7 messages.

Results

Identified 125,000 duplicate accounts

Verato identified that 10% of the records in Axia’s consolidated patient database were duplicates and quickly deduplicated 125,000 patient accounts. Integrated into the clinical and administrative workflows, Verato continues to prevent duplicate record creation in Axia’s EHR.

Improved clinical decision making and patient safety

Prior to implementing Verato, it was possible for patients to have multiple separate records at each point of care—fertility centers, imaging labs, and OB/GYN offices. Now, clinicians are informed by a single view of every patient across their lifetime, spanning every women’s specialty. This informs clinical decision making, improves patient safety, and enables staff to focus on more important initiatives like marketing, customer experience, and business analytics such as referral patterns, network leakage, and care coordination.

“The dramatic decrease in duplicate patient medical records after we enabled Verato was felt by everybody throughout the organization. We had happier providers, staff, and our tech team was relieved as well.”

Dave Bonewicz, Senior Manager Data Governance, Axia Women’s Health