Disclaimer: Dr. Weinstein authored this article in his personal capacity. The views expressed are his own and do not necessarily represent the views of Falcon, LLC, DaVita Physician Solutions or DaVita, Inc.
Nephrology is a unique specialty in medicine. Not only do we deal with some of the most complex medical illnesses, but our specialty is marked by the three-way relationship between physicians, patients, and dialysis providers. In 2009, DaVita took an opportunity to help nephrologists with clinical quality outcomes by introducing Falcon Physician, a nephrology-specific electronic health record. Since that time, Falcon Physician has evolved into a broad and wide-ranging set of tools for documentation, data collection, and quality reporting both in the office and the dialysis unit.
Over the last decade, the needs of our users and the demands of the health care IT ecosystem have changed and, as a result, we needed to evolve and differentiate as well. Our software must continue to support interoperability and discrete data collection, while still meeting all of the necessary documentation demands of our users and their patients.
We are excited to be taking the next step in the evolution of our electronic health record system by partnering with Epic. Over the next 18-24 months, our Falcon Platinum customers will be offered a migration path to our new solution for office-based CKD care – DaVita CKD EHR.
Let’s take a step back and look at the why behind this decision:
The clinical IT landscape has evolved rapidly over the last few years. Electronic health records are the primary tool for presenting, gathering and reporting frontline clinical information and face-to-face interactions between clinicians and patients. The reality is, these core functionalities are no longer enough. There is an increasing need for connecting an EHR to hospital systems, other clinicians, and large data repositories. There is a need for population health tools that are slowly finding their way into practices looking to identify their most complex patients. All of these tools require new ways to organize and think about data, which requires a fundamental change in the architecture of the way an electronic health record system works. This underlying architecture is the heart of our decision to evolve Falcon into DaVita CKD EHR.
Our goal is to provide our customers with the necessary tools to deliver the highest quality kidney care, and we will now be able to take advantage of the incredible suite of tools and technology that Epic offers.
Our short-term hope is that as our customers migrate to our new EHR they will simultaneously embark on a pathway of gathering the necessary data and more robustly participating in quality reporting programs. We will work with our customers, who are ready, to take full advantage of the built-in population health tools. Most of all, we are excited to see how our customers are able to share data amongst other clinicians and institutions on Epic’s Care Everywhere network.
Ultimately, we continue to strive to be your partner of choice. We want what you want-tools that help you efficiently deliver the most comprehensive care possible for your many and increasingly complex patients.
We acknowledge that change is difficult and that migrating electronic health record system in a practice of any size is a monumental undertaking. We are here to support you through this transition, and you can continue to rely on the same friendly voices and customer support excellence you have come to expect from us.
I’m sure you will have far more questions than we have answered here. We will be reaching out to each of you in the coming weeks to help you understand the impact of this decision. As you can imagine is an exciting time for us as well, and we are thrilled to be walking down this path with you.
About the Author:
Adam Weinstein, MD, is VP of medical affairs with Clinical IT Services at DaVita and a part-time clinical nephrologist in Maryland. He serves as the American Medical Association Relative Value Scale Update Committee (RUC) advisor for the Renal Physicians Association (RPA) and chairs the RPA clinical data registry workgroup.
Dr. Weinstein is a co-founder of the Kidney Health Center of Maryland. He has worked as VP of medical affairs at the University of Maryland, Shore Regional Health and has served on the Maryland Healthcare Commission and RPA board of directors. He completed his training in internal medicine and nephrology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and University of Maryland Medical Center.