Save the Date!  The Azara 2023 Annual User Conference returns to Boston April 24-26, 2023. > Learn More

Skip to content

Frequently Asked Questions

Azara works with many EHRs, how long should I expect it to take for my Azara to receive my data and be fully connected?

For most EHRs, the connectivity process can take as little as a few days or as many as 4 weeks. If a custom data feed needs to be built, it will take up to 8 weeks. If you have an on premise server or are hosted by a third party, the installation of the DRVS connector service can be completed in a number of hours. 

It is Steps 2-4 of the implementation process that require significant human effort and account for the bulk of the time and cost associated with a successful DRVS implementation. Our team spends that time learning how you use your EHR, and configuring our system to fit your workflows so you get the maximum credit for the care you deliver.

Our implementation team understands that there are multiple legitimate ways to document care and they work very hard to “meet you where you are” vs requiring you to use your EHR’s prescribed workflow.

Who owns the data collected? Does Azara share my data?

The data collected and stored by Azara is owned and controlled by the patient, provider and practice. Azara is the custodian of your data and takes stringent measures to assure your data is securely stored and protected. Azara does not share your data unless you authorize access. In addition, you have the ability to specify which elements of your data can be viewed by the various entities and roles within organizations you choose to grant access. The Azara DRVS platform can be extended to supply “bulk” data to other entities, such as immunization registries, local, state or national programs and in some cases, act as an on-ramp for a regional, state or national Health Information Exchange (HIE).

Where does Azara store my data and is my data secure?

Azara utilizes a Tier 1 data center owned and managed by Microsoft Azure located in Virginia. Our servers reside in a fully secure, backed-up, and highly available production environment, configured to require user authentication, authorization and encryption for end user access, back end operations, and all data transfers. Our configuration is set to abide by all HIPAA regulations and the facilities are PCI DSS compliant, ISO 9001 certified for physical security and management, and audited yearly for SSAE16 compliance.

Azara employs a range of network and software controls to secure access to its production environment and application and all access and activity within both the operational environment and the DRVS application is logged and available for audit purposes.

In addition, Azara maintains an extensive set of documented Security Policies and Procedures regarding our employees, physical office space, electronic and information security and, of course, our production environments.

Subject to HIPAA, Azara maintains business associate relationships with all organizations that provide PHI to Azara and any service providers that interact with our environments. We also conduct penetration testing at regular intervals. Azara has been certified HITRUST compliant.

If my data is somewhere on the Internet, how can it be as secure as within my facility?

Actually, the storage of data within any commercial grade data center is significantly more robust than typical, on-premise data storage. First, and foremost, our data center has a high degree of physical security, much greater than that of a typical health center or physicians’ practice. In contrast to a practice, the data center has only a small number of employees who work at and oversee the center. Each of these employees is individually cleared for access and are monitored.

From an internet storage perspective, the word “cloud” itself implies that your precious assets are out there floating around somewhere, right? It’s an understandable reaction, but one that couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, the cloud is now the safest place for your data to reside.

Think about this: Data is lost when an organization loses control over it, including how it’s stored, how it’s transmitted, and what end users do with it. Think USB drives. Clouds, and the technologies on which they run, give you back that centralized control, from data center to delivery to endpoint. There are only one or two paths of access, each which is monitored, encrypted, authenticated and authorized.

How can I securely access my information?

All Azara DRVS reporting and analytics functionality is available via a secure web browser connection to the application. DRVS supports access using most current web browsers and two-factor authentication is available for those clients desiring to add an extra level of access control.

You describe your DRVS platform as Software-as-Service or “SaaS” model, isn’t that the same as a hosted solution?

Actually, there are differences. While a SaaS model is a hosted model, a SaaS model encompasses much, much more. Typically, a hosted solution model refers to the outsourcing of the supply of computing hardware, some base level software, networking infrastructure and the physical premises in which these reside. The client tends to own responsibility for both supplying and supporting the actual software application running on the servers. In addition, each hosted solution is usually designed to service a single client.

Azara DRVS is a true SaaS application platform. In addition to the lower level hardware and software items mentioned above, Azara supplies and maintains the DRVS Reporting and Analytics software situated on those servers, taking full responsibility for the ongoing development of the platform’s functionality (upgrades, new reports and analytics), as well as assuring the environment is maintained and will remain safe and secure.

Each client benefits from the addition of functionality requests and development on behalf of others and does not end up with a system unique to them, but rather a robust platform that encompasses best practices from within the population health marketplace. In addition, because all clients are using a common set of application functionality, Azara is able to provide true application level support, answering more than just technical question, but specifically, how to optimize the reporting and analytics functionality. In the SaaS model, clients typically pay an all-inclusive, annual subscription fee.

How does committing to the DRVS platform compare with building my own system from an effort, responsibility and on-going maintenance standpoint?

Like any build vs. buy decision, there are many factors to consider including time to market, cost, in-house expertise, time and focus of the organization and its leadership, the ability to maintain the systems and the long-term cost, support and resource implications of owning a system.

Azara DRVS delivers value from day one and our customers take advantage of DRVS’s 10+ year history and evolution. Azara also provides deep experience from working with many organizations and incorporates industry best practices and packages the DRVS solution in a form that requires minimal upfront capital. DRVS has been validated for production stability and its subscription model provides long-term sustainability for both the platform and its users.

The advantage of a custom system is that it’s built to conform to an organization’s processes and not require adherence to alternatives. Besides the monetary cost of building and operating a custom system, one must take into consideration the need for requirements gathering and client input to document the desired process. Custom systems also require significant resources for on-going maintenance. Federal and other program measurement definitions change frequently, and keeping up to date with these regulatory changes constantly requires business analysis skills as well as technical capacity.

How can we be better prepared to help the deployment go smoothly?

The most successful implementations occur when the client is prepared for kickoff with the knowledge of the workflows and people who can influence change and answer questions related to the workflows. In addition to having the right people on the Implementation team, the initial connection to the EHR data can be easily facilitated as long as Azara has the correct access credentials and a resource who understands your network. We will work together to “meet you where you are” and help bridge any gaps in your current workflows or process.

What is Azara’s level of experience with operating these types of population health management tools?

Azara Healthcare was formed in 2011 as a cooperative venture with the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers (MLCHC) to bring to market the analytics intellectual property that had been developed for the Massachusetts health centers starting in 2007 to primary care providers nationwide.

Azara was established to provide a single purpose entity to expand, deploy and operate the DRVS platform for the Community Health marketplace. Leveraging the knowledge and experience of our staff, partners and clients, Azara has expanded its reach from the initial nine Massachusetts CHCs to deployment at over 1,000 Community Health Centers, physician practices, Primary Care Associations, Health Center Controlled Networks, and clinically integrated networks in 39 states.

Can I see how all of my practices compare to each other on key metrics?

Yes! Azara DRVS allows comparisons between providers, sites, and practices, with the data visible in either explicit or generic format – depending on your configuration and security preferences. It is our experience that using as much explicit information as possible increases transparency, introduces healthy competiveness, and drives overall improvement at a faster rate. We also understand that this does not work in all environments, and therefore DRVS is built to accommodate the blinding of necessary data.

Note: No PHI is shared across members and users need explicit PHI access at each entity to see patient level detail.

How much will I have to pay for upgrades if Federal reporting requirements change? What about State requirements?

There is no additional charge. Reports necessary to meet changes in all UDS Clinical Quality reporting requirements are included as part of your subscription. Azara Healthcare will evaluate requests to create additional reports and determine whether they will be included or not.

Note: Reports requiring new or additional data elements may require modifications to current data connectors to collect the necessary data elements.

Are there add-on modules or additional features we can add on to our subscription?

DRVS has product features that are part of the base package but may not be “turned on” for your location. Azara’s Client Success, Clinical Transformation & Product Adoption Services, and Delivery Solutions Teams will help you determine your needs and requirements to use all available features.

DRVS also has several tools that can be added on to your DRVS instance. Add on modules and applications are additional and require added implementation support.

More Information on DRVS Add-On Modules

What are the hardware and IT requirements for Azara DRVS?

Because the DRVS application is delivered using a SaaS model, the only thing a client needs to access DRVS reporting is an internet connected machine with a currently updated web browser. No servers or IT infrastructure is necessary. To facilitate data transfer to the Azara DRVS database, Azara will need to co-locate the data connector code on or near the EHR database, whether on-premise or hosted.

How many sites are currently using DRVS?

Currently, Azara solutions empower more than 1,000 Community Health Centers, physician practices, Primary Care Associations, Health Center Controlled Networks, and clinically integrated networks in 39 states to improve the quality and efficiency of care for more than 25 million Americans through actionable data.

How is DRVS licensed? Are we limited to certain users?

DRVS is licensed on an organizational basis and priced based on the number of patient medical encounters the entity records in a given time period. Within the licensed entity, all staff members are entitled to use the DRVS platform and its reports. We encourage our clients to grant widespread access as a way of highlighting both successes and areas needing improvement and enabling an environment where the process of quality improvement is transparent and available to everyone.

You say you charge by the encounter, what exactly constitutes an encounter?

We use the UDS definition of 'encounter', which is a billable, face-to-face medical interaction with a provider. Based on the types of data currently being reported by DRVS, we do not count dental or behavioral health encounters in the billing metrics.

Can the system be customized and branded for our needs? Who does this?

Yes, the system is designed to allow PCA or network level branding, so that as these entities deliver Azara DRVS to their clients, it looks and feels like it has been built and operated by that entity. Azara Healthcare will work with the client to incorporate branding as part of the setup and deployment process.

Do you have a User Group?

Azara has DRVS User Groups in a number of states where there is a large concentration of users. We expect additional groups to form as we expand our geographic footprint and work closely with clients to foster idea sharing, collaboration and best practices. In addition, Azara holds an Annual User Conference each spring in Boston.

Do you provide on-demand training and best practice sharing?

Azara holds several educational webinars each month on the latest DRVS enhancements, reporting, features and modules. All webinars are for DRVS users only and are easily accessible in the DRVS Help section. We also host an Annual User Conference where DRVS users come together for workshops, idea sharing, and networking. See our customer success stories for more insights on how DRVS is helping to impact care, improve quality, and lower costs.

How does Azara handle security and privacy?

Your data's security and privacy is important to us at Azara Healthcare. We are committed to ensuring that our devices, services, websites and data systems (collectively “Products”) are compliant with the regulations and conditions set forth in the Health Insurance Portability and Availability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) and the Health Information Trust Alliance (HITRUST) security framework.  Azara Healthcare has been HITRUST certified since 2017.

For more information about Azara's Security and Privacy programs, please contact us at compliance@azarahealthcare.com.