Three health information exchanges (HIEs) that are part of a larger pilot to develop and test a “Patient Centered Data Home,” hit a major milestone today and are now successfully exchanging patient health data among their systems and across state lines.
The Indiana Health Information Exchange (IHIE), Michiana Health Information Network (MHIN), and East Tennessee Health Information Network (etHIN) reached an agreement to enable data-sharing among their HIEs, ensuring that a patient’s healthcare record follows them wherever they seek care.
The Patient Centered Data Home (PCDH) Heartland initiative, as this project is called, is the third and largest pilot for the Strategic Health Information Exchange Collaborative (SHIEC), a national trade association for HIEs that is acting as the project lead. The other pilots are already in production.
“This is an exciting first step toward a much larger goal,” said John Kansky, president and CEO of IHIE. “At the completion of this pilot, we’ll be exchanging health information among seven HIEs and across five states.”
Other Heartland partners include Great Lakes Health Connect (Grand Rapids, MI), HealthLinc (Bloomington, IN), the Kentucky Health Information Exchange (Frankfort, KY), and The Health Collaborative (Cincinnati, OH).
Each of SHIEC’s PCDH pilots, including the Heartland initiative, is using a standards-based approach to ensure that the PCDH is both cost-effective and scalable and ultimately benefits the patient. Successful implementation will demonstrate that the PCDH can enable HIEs nationwide to seamlessly deliver data across state lines, across health systems, and across referral regions.
“Because of the tourism in East Tennessee, etHIN has medical data on patients from all 50 states and beyond who were treated by an etHIN participant while traveling here,” said Leigh Sterling, Executive Director of etHIN. “The Heartland Project will allow us to notify the patient’s home health information exchange that a patient living there was treated in the etHIN region. Knowing about medical events that occur outside their local area will allow the hometown physicians to build a more complete patient medical record, thus providing more informed care for their patients.”
The approach that HIEs are taking to advance interoperability has some advantages over other approaches. Individually, health information exchanges build robust connections and relationships within the regions they serve. By connecting one HIE region to another, the expanse of interoperability starts to cover the nation.
“Each of our organizations is successfully exchanging healthcare data with providers in our own communities,” said Kelly Hahaj, CEO of MHIN. “It makes sense that the next evolution is to connect our networks to enable a person’s medical information to be available whenever and wherever care occurs, appropriately and securely.”
The 12-month initiative, which is funded by the US Department of Health and Human Services Office of the National Coordinator (ONC), will allow the secure exchange of millions of patient health records, and ultimately result in a more connected Midwest.
About the Indiana Health Information Exchange (IHIE)
IHIE was founded in 2004 as a health information exchange that enables hospitals, physicians, laboratories, pharmacies, payers, and other health service providers to avoid redundancy and deliver faster, more efficient, higher quality healthcare to patients. Today, by making information available to more than 50,000 healthcare providers in Indiana and neighboring states, we deliver services that make a real difference in health and healthcare. For more information, visit our website at www.ihie.org.
About the East Tennessee Health Information Network (etHIN)
etHIN is a non-profit, joint community initiative established in 2005 to serve the needs of patients and healthcare providers in East Tennessee. etHIN’s purpose is to create and manage a secure healthcare information network that is used by authorized healthcare providers, supports improving patient outcomes, and helps to potentially lower the cost of healthcare. etHIN’s community members, now spanning 20 counties, include local hospital systems, physicians, and other community healthcare providers that provide healthcare services to almost 1.8 million patients. For more information about etHIN, visit www.ethin.org.
About the Michiana Health Information Network (MHIN)
As an Indiana based not-for-profit Health Information Exchange (HIE), MHIN turns data into insights to improve health for our families, neighbors, and friends by connecting our healthcare community. MHIN is one of the oldest and most successful health information exchanges and healthcare information technology organizations in the United States. Since 1998, MHIN has been committed to providing secure, timely delivery of relevant clinical information through a number of technology and communication solutions that work to streamline secure access to data to improve quality and reduce costs. For more information, visit our website at www.mhin.org and follow us on social media at twitter.com/mhinute.
About the Strategic Health Information Exchange Collaborative (SHIEC)
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.