How it works
As part of Community Hospital Corporation’s (CHC)1 national reach in guiding,
supporting, and enhancing community hospitals, CHC utilizes a centralized
approach for ensuring best practices and regulatory compliance for its hospitals’
EHR systems. CHC leaves reporting and implementation to the individual
facilities, while clinical informatics and specialists across several disciplines2 serve as a unified team for monitoring and analyzing regulations, providing
guidance, and escalating concerns. The CHC Clinical Informatics Advisory Team
supports nearly 20 hospitals, and demand for their services continues to grow.
The Advisory Team convenes monthly with each hospital’s informatics
representatives and other key stakeholders to ensure an understanding of CMS
regulations and how to build those regulations into their own EHR systems. The
facilities are broken out into smaller groups by EHR vendor, to facilitate
alignment with workflow best practices and exchange ideas relevant to the
specific EHR build. CHC scales informatics best practices for their hospital PI
reporting across five different EHRs through monthly discussions and
networking, offering multiple channels of support for their hospitals.
How they got there
Prior to the centralized team approach, there were many
reporting discrepancies and gaps across CHC’s facilities.
CHC saw the need to educate facilities on the
importance of these regulatory requirements and how
they apply to workflows within their EHRs.
CHC searched for the ideal candidate to spearhead this
initiative. They wanted someone with a diverse
background in clinical, legal, and regulatory work, who
could connect the dots and help facilities navigate
complex regulations. CHC hired their corporate director
of clinical informatics, who went on to develop the
informatics division, and then created the Clinical
Informatics Advisory Team.
CHC’s Clinical Informatics Advisory Team offers a centralized approach to
regulatory support across facilities. This achieves two goals: standardized
education about quality reporting requirements and updates to the facilities, and
opportunities to network with other facilities to boost performance in these
programs. By connecting facilities that are using the same EHR, CHC creates an
element of self-service support, where facilities can come together to
troubleshoot and collaborate on documentation, reporting issues, and other EHR
challenges. CHC is a large hospital management organization, so this approach
to governance works well, since they’re able to scale their regulatory support
Benefits of this approach
- Scalability: CHC’s Clinical Informatics Advisory Team allows the organization to
expand support across multiple markets as representatives relay important
information on regulatory updates and guidance to their respective facilities.
- Peer learning: Since CHC operates on five different EHR systems, peer
networking is split up by which EHR each hospital uses. This allows for sharing
of system-specific best practices without decentralizing.
- Clinical informatics perspective: With both clinical experience and
informatics knowledge, the leader of the Advisory Team helps bridge knowledge
gaps between informatics and clinical teams at facilities in order to create
a collaborative quality reporting environment.
Potential barriers to success
- Highly specific skill set necessary for success. With one person
responsible for the Advisory Team, this model requires an initiative leader with
strong relationship-building skills who can work with sites to constantly
manage change and adjust strategy. The role is also dependent on a highly
specific knowledge base. Overall, it's a unique skill set that could be difficult to
- Upward communication. As a large organization that owns, manages, and
supports hospitals and health care providers nationally, CHC relies on strong
communication among its facilities to articulate the challenges they are facing.
When problems are escalated, this model requires leaders to remain
accountable so smaller organizations don’t feel left behind or de-prioritized.