Success Story: CRISP Automated Notifications


The mission of the Chesapeake Regional Information System for our Patients (CRISP) is to help providers make a positive impact on patient care through collaboration and cooperation. Through a combination of a powerful query-based portal where providers are able to search for information on over 8 million patients, a notification system that alerts physicians the moment a patient is admitted to or discharged from a hospital in the State of Maryland, and access to the Maryland Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP), CRISP facilitates better coordination of care.

Encounter Notification System® at CRISP

Without a notification system in place, 20 to 50% of hospitalizations nationwide go unnoticed by primary care physicians, resulting in increased numbers of preventable readmissions. In 2012, CRISP launched an automated notification system. Consequently, Maryland physicians now receive automatic notifications when any one of the 3.5 million enrolled patients is admitted to or discharged from a Maryland hospital.

Jennifer Bailey, Senior Director of Quality and Transformation at Johns Hopkins, has seen first-hand how CRISP’s Encounter Notification System® has helped patients and providers. “CRISP has always listened to the provider community and figured out what is best for both clinicians and patients,” said Bailey. “CRISP took the initiative and was far ahead of the curve when they operationalized automatic notifications for providers.”

“CRISP took a process that was highly transactional – getting Admit, Discharge and Transfer (ADT) notifications – and turned it into ‘true information’ that can be used for the greater good. The benefits are evident with real-time notifications. We have demonstrated the ability of this system to reduce readmissions, which is something that very few groups have been able to do,” added Bailey.

After the initial set-up of the automated notifications, CRISP responded to provider feedback and shifted from individual notification messages to bulk notifications where providers receive concentrated data about their patients. “They listened to our clinicians and made it easy for those of us receiving the information to quickly act upon it,” Bailey said.

In addition to the reduction in readmissions, Bailey has observed an increase in patient satisfaction. For example, using the information provided as part of the real-time alerts, when a patient is admitted and gives birth the primary care physician is able to call the patient to congratulate her and check in on the general health of mother and child. Previously, the family physician would not have known when the baby was born until the patient’s next appointment. This exchange of information helps engage the patient and boost patient satisfaction, all the while improving the primary care provider’s ability to offer the highest quality of care.

“We are taking a patient-centric approach, ensuring that patients get the needed post-discharge care,” said Daniel Wilt, Vice President of Operations for CRISP. “Since deploying notifications, our providers have been surprised at how little they actually knew about when and where their patients had been hospitalized prior to receiving automated notifications. Now they have a better way to coordinate care and communicate with their patients.”

Secure Exchange Solutions (SES) and CRISP

SES and CRISP have been partnered since 2012 when CRISP selected SES as its Health Information Service Provider (HISP) for Direct messaging services. “SES is now the backbone of how we deliver notification messages,” said Wilt. “We realized that notifications needed to be sent in a secure manner. By sending notifications through SES, we are delivering information in a way that is both secure and easy. It looks like an email with a simple attachment, and has been very intuitive and convenient for our providers to use.”

Maryland physicians use the CRISP portal, powered by SES, to securely receive admission, discharge and transfer notification alerts that keep them apprised of their patients’ status.

Looking Towards the Future

CRISP is continuing to increase adoption as more and more providers flow into its query portal and notification services. The Maryland Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP), launched in early 2014, has been the latest major driver of CRISP’s growing provider base, adding another valuable facet to the trove of patient information available to CRISP providers and enabling improved care coordination throughout the state.

Encounter Notifications System® is a registered trademark of Audacious Inquiry. 

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