Foundation of Success: DaVita Rebuilds Electronic Health Record Platform

After struggling with the limitations of a legacy electronic health record (EHR), DaVita worked with Huron to implement foundational technology capable of advancing DaVita’s patient care and physician engagement aspirations.

Challenge

DaVita, a leader in the dialysis industry for decades, sought to create a better kidney care continuum for its patients and physicians, including chronic kidney disease (CKD), end-stage renal disease (ESRD) and transplant patients.

We knew our milestones were extremely ambitious and needed a consulting partner that had deep expertise and the ability to help us scale our team quickly. Huron has been that integral partner to DaVita, and a large reason for our program’s success in delivering a transformative platform to our physician partners.”

While seeking to improve, leaders faced the financial and competitive pressures of operating in a dynamic and changing healthcare market. Additionally, the organization was operating on a homegrown electronic health record (EHR) platform that was unable to match its business and care delivery goals.

To successfully support and partner with physician practices in their care of CKD patients and evolve value-based care payment models, the team needed a robust technology platform that could serve as the foundation for transformation across the organization.

Approach

Collaborating with DaVita business and technical stakeholders, Huron’s team helped replace DaVita’s homegrown electronic health record (EHR) system with Epic for its network of credentialed nephrologists. As DaVita’s Epic implementation partner, Huron was tasked with project management, workflow design and system configuration.

Huron evaluated legacy culture and data while focusing on essential business requirements, user experience and design. This holistic approach helped the team deploy the applications within specifications while setting the organization on a path of continued transformation, which included the following goals and focus areas:

Establish a foundation to maximize value with seamless implementation. Huron’s staffing analysis and project management allowed for an efficient and effective implementation process. Huron developed the project plan and corresponding staffing model to ensure timely delivery on commitments with appropriate staffing levels for pre- and post-live support. Additionally, Huron coordinated multiple process improvement initiatives, including practice readiness tracking and progress scorecards, and a hybrid agile scrum release cycle for optimization and enhancements.

Improve the physician and end-user EHR experience. As part of its goal to better coordinate care with physician practices and improve physician satisfaction, the team worked to set the foundation for a more efficient and effective use of the EHR. To achieve that, the teams focused on remote account management and user training.

Huron staffed a remote training and account management team responsible for practice success and end-user readiness. Each Huron consultant was responsible for a cohort of practices, ensuring practices provided proper data to build department records and user security on schedule while also training end users on the patient access and ambulatory tools they would use once live.

Implement a platform capable of integrating with the organization’s broader technology ecosystem. Interoperability was an important focus throughout the implementation. As DaVita’s technology implementation partner, Huron worked to establish an EHR platform capable of sitting seamlessly next to other programs, with a special focus on lab mapping using Logical Observation Identifiers Names and Codes (LOINC).

With DaVita’s nationwide presence, more than 75 laboratory testing vendors required integration with the EHR system through orders and results interfaces. Additionally, the large volume of lab mapping required finding a common language to reduce work effort.

Huron recommended and implemented LOINC as the common language to promote semantic interoperability, made possible by LOINC’s granularity. Now, caregivers at different locations and in different clinical settings can read the same lab data in a consistent manner from within Epic.

DaVita is the world's second-largest dialysis provider, with most of its 2,700 centers based in the U.S. The healthcare system treats nearly 220,000 patients annually with end-stage renal disease (ESRD). It also operates other ancillary services and strategic initiatives serving chronic kidney disease (CKD) and ESRD patients.

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