Strategic Health Information Exchange Collaborative (SHIEC) members Arizona Health-e Connection (AzHeC), Quality Health Network (QHN) in western Colorado, and Utah-based(UHIN) have come together to pilot a “patient-centered data home (PCDH)” initiative. This is a cost-effective, scalable method of exchanging patient data among health information exchanges (HIEs). PCDH is based on triggering episode alerts, which notify providers a care event has occurred outside of the patients’ “home” HIE, and confirms the availability and the specific location of the clinical data. This enables providers to initiate a simple query to access real-time information across state and regional lines and throughout the care continuum.
SHIEC member HIEs are committed to operationalizing the PCDH vision that clinical data should be available whenever and wherever care occurs, and “centered” around the patient to improve patient care. This concept is being implemented in several pilots, which have addressed and resolved legal/policy issues as well as the technical issues of real-time HIE-to-HIE notifications. In this model all clinical data becomes part of the comprehensive longitudinal patient record in the patients’ data home, which is the community health information exchange (HIE) where the patient resides.
“I like to think of the PCDH project as an extension of the ‘no wrong door’ philosophy,” says Dick Thompson, Executive Director and CEO for QHN who says “no wrong door” means that services and information are always available regardless of where the patient seeks care. “The concept is focused on providers having access to real-time data wherever a patient may present for care by providing information across state lines and disparate health care systems. HIEs share common borders and common patients, and we are able to share information on these patients when they are away from their home zip code, bridging gaps in information and enabling more comprehensive patient records.”
The PCDH project allows for the independent community HIEs in SHIEC to maintain their autonomy and governance while gaining economies of scale. The key issues of disparate data use agreements, policies and patient privacy and consent models are overcome in this framework of patient data exchange, according to Teresa Rivera, president and CEO of UHIN. “There is significant potential for sharing patient information, especially in western states that are vacation and seasonal destinations for many patients, but it is also important to navigate the HIE-related privacy and consent laws of each state,” Rivera added.
The PCDH project demonstrates the value of SHIEC, the national trade association of community and regional HIEs, according to Melissa Kotrys, CEO of AzHeC. The PCDH concept originated at a national SHIEC conference eight months ago, and has been piloted among HIEs that share common borders or patients. “SHIEC’s members have well-established relationships that enable the more formal governance and trust relationships required for secure information exchange across state lines and anywhere patients receive care,” Kotrys said.
“This project has worked through a number of critical issues to build and enhance patient-centered data homes and offers an excellent example of the real potential of SHIEC. The SHIEC membership is excited to move ahead with the PCDH concept to improve the care for the more than 100 million lives the member organizations represent,” Thompson said. Thompson, Kotrys and Rivera all serve on the Board of Directors for SHIEC, which was founded in 2014.
Other PCDH Pilots
There are also Patient Centered Data Home Pilots underway in various stages in a growing number of SHIEC HIEs. Participating HIEs include but are not limited to the following:
- State Health Alliance Records Exchange – SHARE (Arkansas) MyHealth Access Network (Oklahoma)
- IHIE (Indiana)
- Michiana Health Information Network
- Healthlinc (Bloomington IN) Great Lakes Health Connect HealthBridge
- Kentucky Health Information Exchange
- East Tennessee Health Info Network
About the Participants
The Strategic Health Information Exchange Collaborative (SHIEC) is a nonprofit national consortium of statewide, regional and community health information exchanges (HIEs) and a trade association that assists member organizations through the exchange of ideas and business practices as well as through public education and advocacy. The SHIEC member regional and community HIEs serve as the community data trustee to facilitate community and regional health information exchange among participants across disparate health care systems. For more information, visit www.strategichie.com.
Arizona Health-e Connection (AzHeC) operates Arizona’s statewide HIE that enables improvements in care coordination and quality by electronically linking health care organizations through a single connection, filling gaps in patient information across the state. AzHeC serves as a community data trustee and a network of networks that allows participants to save time and resources and create a more comprehensive patient record providing the right information at the right time and place. Participants include: community providers, including behavioral health providers, federally qualified health care centers (FQHCs) and community health centers; health plans, including all Medicaid (AHCCCS) plans; health systems, hospitals and accountable care organizations (ACOs); reference labs and imaging centers; and state and local government. For more information, visit www.azhec.org.
Quality Health Network (QHN) is a not-for-profit community partnership, located in western Colorado. QHN was established in 2004 to support the adoption of health information technology, provide health information exchange (HIE) services and promote innovative uses of electronic health information for improved healthcare outcomes. QHN provides for the secure exchange of electronic health information between authorized medical providers to provide safer and more timely, efficient and effective patient care. The QHN network collects and distributes data to and from disparate healthcare providers and facilities to create a comprehensive longitudinal patient record, support advanced data analytics and improve patient outcomes. For more information, visit www.qualityhealthnetwork.org.
Utah-based UHIN is a Salt Lake City-based nonprofit coalition of healthcare providers, payers, state government and other stakeholders that have come together to reduce healthcare costs and improve quality and access for the community by enabling providers, payers and patients to exchange information electronically. UHIN focuses on creating electronic exchange solutions that work for the entire healthcare community, from single-provider practices to large integrated healthcare systems. For more information, visit www.uhin.org.
For more information:
Tom Reavis, Arizona Health-e Connection
Tom.firstname.lastname@example.org | (480) 297-3509