Tuesday, July 22, 2014

health information exchange

Maine’s HIE adds analytics, increases use by 150% in 2013 Author Name Jennifer Bresnick | Date July 17, 2014 HealthInfoNet, Maine’s state health information exchange (HIE), has a lot to boast about in its 2013 annual report. After contracting to connect all the state’s hospitals to the network and adding robust new clinical analytics and care management services to its portfolio, the ten-year-old project has increased provider usage by nearly 150 percent and has tripled the number of patient record lookups. The HIE has also reached the enviable status of being financially sustainable, one of the very few organizations across the country to do so. The HIE’s accomplishments in 2013 include securing a number of important grants to continue its work and expand its services, including a 3-year grant to connect to the Department of Veterans Affairs and a $33 million State Innovation Model grant from the CMS Center for Innovation, which will help HealthInfoNet develop automated email notifications for emergency department use and hospital admissions, allow patients to access a summary of their information through the Blue Button initiative, and provide financial support for 20 behavioral health organizations to adopt health IT and data integration tools. These grants will contribute to the financial stability of the organization after the end of the ONC’s HIE and Regional Extension Center (REC) Grants. HealthInfoNet has served as the state’s REC as well as its information exchange, helping nearly 1000 providers and 19 rural or critical access hospitals to achieve meaningful use. The HIE also plans to partner with private companies to expand its services, as evidenced by its recent collaboration with HBI Solutions. The partnership has allowed HealthInfoNet to offer data analytics as a service to support population health management and care coordination, an area that CEO Dev Culver believes will bring great value to providers and the HIE alike. “Expanding the role of the HIE to support our clients with data is a very logical evolution,” Culver told HealthITAnalytics in October. “At the end of the day, the database is the true asset for the HIE. While the act of exchanging data for treatment is very important, it’s the database that truly is the real asset. So moving towards analytics is a natural progression, because it’s adding value for our clients.” In 2014 and beyond, HealthInfoNet plans to expand the number and type of care settings connected to the HIE, including long-term care, home health, specialty care, and other providers to broaden the portrait of a patient’s journey through different settings. Reporting and analytics capabilities will also continue to grow, and the HIE’s participation in the nationwide eHealth Exchange will no doubt provide an important example to other states looking to emulate Maine’s success. “HealthInfoNet is a remarkable accomplishment,” said David Howes, MD, past board chair of HealthInfoNet and current President and CEO of Martin’s Point Health Care. “It creates a non-propriety statewide platform for sharing medical information to support improvements in care. It allows enhanced point of care access to patient information, enhanced understanding of public health issues and events, and numerous quality improvement and cost reduction opportunities. HealthInfoNet is a superb example of the type of progress that can be made when a community determines to work cooperatively for improved statewide health.”

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