Electronic Measurement in the Real World: Lessons Learned from the Beacon Communities

Moderated by:
Kerri Petrin (Beacon Community Program/ONC)
Lori Stephenson (Rocky Mountain Health Plans), Craig Brammer (Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, US Department of Health and Human Services), Greg Larkin (State of Indiana), Marilee Benson (Mirth Corporation)
Healthcare Systems of the Future
Location: Plaza Room B

The Beacon Communities are 17 communities who have funding from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology to: build and strengthen health IT infrastructure and information exchange capabilities, translate investments in health IT to measureable improvements in health care cost, quality, and population health, and test innovative, evidence-generating approaches to improve health care performance measurement, technology integration, and delivery. Generating, accessing, extracting and aggregating data to enable community-level health data analysis offers unique challenges in an IT-enabled environment. Among these challenges is extracting data from health IT systems to support performance measurement and quality improvement. Challenges include accessing and using both structured and unstructured data, as well as managing data quality issues with structured data—including inconsistent or differential data entry by providers, missing data, and a lack of data standards and consistent coding practices. Finally, community-level measurement requires that data be aggregated across multiple sites and sources.

Several Beacon communities are tackling these challenges head on. Each community has developed their own tools for assessing data quality at the practice level and their own processes for collaborating with each practice to improve the quality of their data in order to obtain accurate measurement results. A representative from the ONC will discuss how their experiences continue to inform the ONC’s policy agenda.

Participants will have a robust discussion of the data quality challenges they faced, key aspects of developing data quality assessments, their experience collaborating with practices, and the ways in which their practices and other stakeholders are using measurement results to drive quality improvement.

Photo of Kerri Petrin

Kerri Petrin

Beacon Community Program/ONC

Kerri Petrin is a Project Officer for the Beacon Community Program within the Office of the National Coordinator for HIT. Her responsibilities include acting as the program lead for the data and performance measurement domain, identifying best practices in data collection, aggregation, performance measurement, and the sharing of performance information to drive quality and value improvement in health care.

Prior to joining ONC, Ms. Petrin worked as a Senior Research Associate with the Engelberg Center for Health Care Reform at The Brookings Institution supporting the Center’s work in performance measurement, including research around linking payment to quality performance in accountable care organizations and guidelines for displaying health plan quality information within state Health Insurance Exchanges. Prior to that, Ms. Petrin worked on quality measurement and public reporting with the Puget Sound Health Alliance, a multi-stakeholder regional collaborative working to improve quality and efficiency while reducing the rate of health care cost increases in the Puget Sound Region.

Ms. Petrin holds a Master of Public Health degree from the University of Washington and a Bachelor of Science from Duke University.

Photo of Lori Stephenson

Lori Stephenson

Rocky Mountain Health Plans

Ms. Stephenson is responsible for RMHP’s Quality Improvement activities including Continuing Medical Education projects, Credentialing, and the Provider Review process. She is also directly involved with the Practice Redesign and Pay for Performance projects. Ms. Stephenson serves within the Colorado Beacon project as the director of measurement and outcomes, and the practice transformation team. She is providing national leadership within the HHS/ONC Data & Analysis Community of Practice.

Photo of Craig Brammer

Craig Brammer

Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, US Department of Health and Human Services

Craig Brammer is a member of the Senior Leadership Team at the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology and serves as Director of the Beacon Community Program. Beacon represents ONC’s innovation portfolio for demonstrating health IT’s role in accelerating gains in health care quality, efficiency, and population health. This $260 million program includes 17 diverse communities across the US where clinicians, hospitals and other partners are testing novel technologies and leveraging health IT to drive improvement. Craig is also an Assistant Professor at the University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center where his work prior to joining ONC focused on management, performance measurement, payment innovation and information technology.

Photo of Greg Larkin

Greg Larkin

State of Indiana

Dr. Larkin was appointed by Governor Mitch Daniels as the Indiana State Health Commissioner in March 2010. At that time, he was asked by the governor to continue the state’s progress in immunizing children, reporting and reducing medical errors, and changing the health culture of Indiana.

Prior to his appointment, Dr. Larkin served as the chief medical officer for the Indiana Health Information Exchange, which promotes health information technology for the advancement of quality patient and community care, since retiring from Lilly in 2007. He is a recognized leader in the promotion of health information and technology and will extend Indiana’s recognized preeminence in that area.

Before joining the Indiana Health Information Exchange as its Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Larkin was the Director of Corporate Health Services for Eli Lilly and Company. During his tenure at Eli Lilly, Dr. Larkin was the company’s global medical director managing five domestic health care clinics, the domestic employee and retiree health plan and was the global liaison for the company’s world affiliates for occupational and corporate health care.

He has been a member of the Healthy Indiana Plan task force, served as chairman of the board of the Indianapolis Medical Society and the Indiana Blood Center, and volunteered with many other medical and community organizations.

Dr. Larkin is a graduate of Indiana University School of Medicine and has been board certified in family medicine. Additionally, he is a Fellow of the American Academy of Family Practice, and a Fellow of the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM), and is a past-President of the Indianapolis Medical Society.

He practiced family medicine in Greencastle, Indiana from 1975-1986. While in Greencastle, he also was an adjunct professor at DePauw University, City Park President, Chairman of the BOD of Operations Life (volunteer paramedic community ambulance service), President of the Indiana Affiliate of the American Heart Association and President-elect of the Indiana Academy of Family Practice. From 1976-1980, he served as the Putnam County coroner.

Photo of Marilee Benson

Marilee Benson

Mirth Corporation

Marilee has more than 23 years of health information technology (HIT) experience in many
areas such as business development, product management and systems implementation. Her
areas of expertise include electronic health record systems, healthcare systems interoperability
and health information exchange.

In 2012, Marilee joined Mirth Corporation as Vice President of Sales and she, along with the
Mirth executive team, work closely with hospitals, health systems, Beacon Communities and
HIT vendors to solve data interoperability and data exchange issues with standards based, cost
effective healthcare technology.

Marilee has a special interest in access to care issues and has worked with non-profit
healthcare organizations such as community health centers (FQHCs), the National Association
of Community Health Centers and state level Primary Care Associations and health center
controlled networks in the area of HIT and its potential to positively impact patient access to

Marilee’s long and varied background in HIT provides the perfect foundation for speaking and
advising on HIT-related topics and she regularly participates in educational workshops and
seminars and public healthcare workgroups, most recently as a member of the ONC-Beacon EHR Affinity Workgroup.

Marilee is passionate about insuring that HIT delivers on its promise to improve the quality of
care, lower the cost of care and expands access to care for patients with the greatest need.


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