Computer-to-Computer

Health Information Exchange — Fostering Innovation

A recent Government Health IT article quoted Dr. Doug Fridsma, director of ONC’s Office of Science and Technology as saying, “We have to think about where we are now and where we need to go to…” Today’s current systems are “tomorrow’s legacy systems.” In the NeHC University webinar, Meeting the Challenge Grant: Consumer-Mediated Exchange in Indiana, attendees learned first-hand how in Indiana, that mentality is fostering innovation in health information exchange (HIE).

To encourage HIE breakthroughs in five key areas, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) awarded $16 million in Challenge Grants. One of the areas is consumer-mediated information exchange, for which NoMoreClipboard and Indiana Health Information Technology, Inc. received a grant. The requirements of the grant were:

  1. Address the policy, privacy, and security issues in consumer access to health information.
  2. Focus on at least two of the following areas:
    • Make concrete interventions to increase data liquidity in support of consumer-mediated information exchange options, e.g. “blue button” tools or “publish and subscribe” mechanisms.
    • Support consumer-mediated exchange options as a strategy to address geographic areas with limited exchange capability and as a means to give patients direct access to their own health information to meet current and future Meaningful Use requirements.
    • Demonstrate use of accurate, secure, easy-to-use, and scalable approaches to patient ID resolution and authentication, especially where in-person options are not possible.
    • Demonstrate use of secure messaging platforms that facilitate patient-provider communications.

The panelists — Ellen Makar, ONC; Jeff Donnell, NoMoreClipboard; Andrew VanZee, Indiana Statewide Health IT Director; and Jason Buckner, HealthBridge — shared with attendees the lessons learned as they rose to the Challenge. Listen to or watch the recording to hear all the lessons and how they were learned (spoiler: the hard way), but two key takeaways are:

  1. Collaboration is key
  2. Start now

Additionally, HealthBridge, the HIE at the center of the Grant,  is an ideal case study for the challenges facing nationwide HIE as they provide HIE connectivity for the Greater Cincinnati tri-state area and five other HIEs. If you missed this webinar and have questions about how HIE can scale, or how HIEs can engage patients, you need to download the recording today.

Click here to read more.

John Dwyer is the senior communications coordinator for the National eHealth Collaborative (NeHC)

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