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Arizona Health Information Exchange Rebrands to Continue Growth

Arizona’s statewide health information exchange is rebranding under the name Health Current to reflect recent growth and future plans to extend health data exchange even further.

Health Information Exchange

Source: Thinkstock

By Kate Monica

- Arizona Health-e Connection (AzHeC), a statewide nonprofit health information exchange operating since 2007, is relaunching under the new brand Health Current.

The relaunch and new name are emblematic of the community-based HIE’s significant growth since its inception ten years ago.

“We have seen incredible growth recently as healthcare providers are being challenged to produce better care and outcomes, with access to more complete patient information one of their most critical needs,” said Health Current CEO Melissa Kotrys. “Today Health Current is the health information exchange that helps our partners transform care by bringing together communities and information across Arizona.”

Health Current serves as a network of networks connecting healthcare providers and organizations to patient health records in real-time wherever they need it.

So far, the Arizona health information exchange has aided over 3000 of the state’s healthcare providers with EHR adoption and helped to bring EHR use in the state up to 85 percent.

Health Current also spearheaded federally funded health IT advancement projects to extend health data exchange, e-prescribing, and consumer health IT education.

Health Current also helped establish the Strategic Health Information Exchange Collaborative (SHIEC), a national trade association of HIEs, in late 2014.  

Other SHIEC members include Healthcare Access San Antonio (HASA), Vermont Information Technology Leaders (VITL), Kentucky Health Information Exchange (KHIE), and HealthLinkNY, New York’s rapidly expanding statewide HIE.  

While the Arizona HIE has an accomplished past, leaders at the HIE expect more progress to come.

Health Connect now houses the health information of 8 million patients, including data on 90 percent of all the state’s hospital inpatient and emergency room discharges.

In a notable first milestone under its new name, Health Current is projected to serve 300 participating organizations as of this week if it continues its growth rate of 800 percent over the past two years.

According to Kotrys, Health Connect’s success is a direct result of the HIE’s dedication to four main objectives aimed at streamlining health data exchange at the point of care.

“We have worked with our Board to adopt a plan and strategy for the next several years aimed at four four pillars of success: first, integrating data into the delivery of care; second, continuing to acquire more complete data; third, normalizing and standardizing the data we have; and finally, implementing value-added services for our participants that will help them be successful and make healthcare transformation possible,” Kotrys said.

Presently, Health Current offers bidirectional exchange, provider and payer portals, provider alerts and notifications, direct secure emailing, eHealth exchange, and a public health reporting gateway allowing network participants to submit federally required reporting data.

 The Arizona HIE membership comprises a wide variety of healthcare providers.

Among the number of different participating healthcare organizations are hospitals and health systems, health plans, reference labs, and community provider organizations. Health Current also connects first responders, correctional health facilities, accountable care organizations, long-term care facilities, and other specialty health organizations.

Additionally, the HIE recently added physical and behavioral health data into its arsenal of information and now includes over 80 behavioral health organizations.

The broadened range of stakeholders interested in connecting with HIEs reflects an industry-wide push to facilitate data exchange between all healthcare organizations.

With continued growth from health information exchanges like Arizona’s Health Current, more specialty healthcare organizations will gain the opportunity to connect to HIEs and provide optimal patient care. 

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