You need data to make decisions on patient care, and part of the recently proposed federal rules for Stage 2 meaningful use involve speeding that information to you electronically – no matter where you or your patient happen to be.
Federal agencies have high expectations for achieving health information exchange (HIE) across the nation. That means not only e-prescribing but also transmission of laboratory and testing results, clinical messages, patient care summaries and more, as a way to smooth transitions of care across affiliated and nonaffiliated systems.
The good news is Indiana has made great strides in this area. The Indiana Health Information Exchange (IHIE), one of our state’s five HIEs, is today the largest organization of its kind in the country. It alone services 10 million patients, more than 19,000 physicians and more than 80 facilities, with a repository of four billion pieces of clinical data.
Recently, IHIE began deploying a clinical messaging exchange from AT&T called Healthcare Community Online as a way to expand and better respond to users’ needs. IHIE has plans to add more than 60 additional hospitals to the platform later this year.
In fact, IHIE and AT&T believe they have opened an opportunity for major collaboration. “Our vision is to establish a model of health information exchange for the nation,” said Harold J. Apple, president and CEO of IHIE. “We operate the most advanced system for connecting disparate health care IT systems in the nation, and AT&T is helping us take our efforts to the next level.”
Even more connection for Indiana
From north to south in our state, four other HIEs transmit information and facilitate communication for better patient care, including:
- Michiana Health Information Network, which started in northern Indiana and Michigan and now serves entities across the Midwest
- Med-Web, serving northeastern Indiana, including Allen County and parts of Ohio
- HealthLINC in Bloomington and southern Indiana
- HealthBridge connecting a tri-state region of southeastern Indiana, northern Kentucky and southwest Ohio
In 2009, IHIE, HealthLINC and HealthBridge began exchanging health information, creating the first and only such network of inter-connected HIEs in the country. The inter-organizational connections, serving residents of Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio, reflect the continuing culture of cooperation among HIE leaders in our region.
To learn how HIEs serve patients and physicians, read about a demonstration at the annual meeting of the Health Information Management System Society (HIMSS) here.