Specialty Search: Building On Our Record Locator Service

Specialty Search is a condition-oriented record location feature. It queries regional and national centers of excellence for challenging medical issues like oncology to ensure informed interventions.

Specialty Search visualization

At Particle Health, we believe that better data leads to better care. To treat complex conditions, surfacing the right data at the right time is paramount.

Today, we’re happy to announce Specialty Search, a condition-oriented feature that enhances our already best-in-class Record Locator Service (RLS).

A traditional RLS usually searches for a patient’s records near where they live and work. Specialty Search will also query prominent providers and clinics at regional and national centers of excellence that treat a specific medical issue, whether or not the provider is close to the patient. 

Specialty Search is launching with logic that targets four health disciplines - oncology, cardiology, endocrinology, and orthopedics - and more are on the way.

Through beta customers, we’ve already seen Specialty Search have a significant impact on treatment. Patients often travel regionally or nationally for the best care they can when seeking to address these conditions. Specialty Search ensures providers who treat these conditions can run a stunningly thorough records search, and create interventions with more comprehensive patient data.

How Does Record Location Work?

To really understand the power of Specialty Search, let’s first review what a record locator service (RLS) is – and why Particle’s RLS is already unmatched.

Once patient data has been generated, it’s generally stored in one of the decentralized health data networks that Particle’s API connects to. However, there’s no easy way to obtain your patient’s data. You’d have to find the precise location where the data exists if you want to download it and then make a direct connection to that specific health system or HIE.

To find the right locations, our RLS intelligently queries endpoints (a.k.a. provider-run servers, like health system EHRs and HIEs) on these networks, asking if they contain records that match a patient’s demographic information. Contacting every endpoint is impractical– networks risk crashing by allowing every participant to check every hospital for every patient queried. This is why any Record Locator Service looks for patient data in a targeted fashion.

We know our base RLS is best in class. Today, our standard RLS finds records for 91% of patients queried and we find on average 105 medical records for each patient. We put ongoing effort into RLS development to drive these exceptional results.

How Specialty Search Enhances Particle’s Record Locator

Our Record Locator Search is geography-oriented. Our new expanded capability – Specialty Search – is condition-oriented

If your patients go to a specialty provider or clinic to get care for a condition, we’re now offering additional search logic to include those facilities in the same record search query.

We've found that this is stunningly effective in practice. I’d love to share an exciting customer case study with you!

 A Particle customer ran oncology Specialty Search for a cohort and found:

  • 25% of queries that previously returned no encounter locations now returned vital records
  • 25% of queries found documents from additional sources
  • Those queries found an average of 4.2 more encounter locations per query, an increase of 91%
  • 12.5% of patients who did not have sufficient medical record data to facilitate enrollment in a given clinical program were able to enroll (receiving crucial and time-sensitive care therapies), representing a 50% enrollment increase during the first month of Specialty Search being active
  • 43% of patients received additional returned records, enabling better assessment of their treatment options and improved care management

What Does Adding Specialty Search Look Like?

Specialty Search uses our existing API, and we made it as simple as possible. Our beta customers were able to add the feature with minimal code and time by adding a new optional parameter to each query. Since Specialty Search is not enabled automatically, please contact our team to discuss competitive pricing for this premium feature.

Summing Up Specialty Search

At Particle Health, we believe in surfacing actionable healthcare data to enable better care and outcomes. A key component of that is our best-in-class Record Locator Service (RLS). Specialty Search gives our RLS a colossal upgrade.

If you are onboarding a new patient, having the right data is key to creating the proper care journey for them. If you are a value-based care organization, understanding the specific context and history of your patient’s conditions can ensure the correct risk stratification, program initiation, and care plan.

If a patient has traveled regionally or even across the country for treatment or a second opinion, activating Specialty Search will give you the fullest possible picture of their care. If you’re interested in learning more, let’s discuss how we can enable you to treat complex conditions with the right data at the right time.