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California, Pennsylvania HIEs Make Health Data Exchange News

Health information exchanges in both states have made deals to strengthen their health data exchange activities.

By Kyle Murphy, PhD

The year is winding down, but HIEs on both coasts have struck important partnerships to bolster their health data exchange operations.

Last week, the California Integration Data Exchange (Cal INDEX) announced that the largest healthcare provider in Orange County had joined its network. The connection of St. Joseph Hoag Health to the statewide health information exchange add more than a million new electronic patient records to a network comprising more than nine million, approximately one-quarter of California’s population.

“St. Joseph Hoag Health’s participation in Cal INDEX will enhance the quality of care received by patients,” Cal INDEX interim CEO and General Counsel Gerald Peters said in a public statement.

“Our health information exchange is built on a platform that can expand to handle vast amounts of clinical and claims data as additional organizations join Cal INDEX,” he added. “Hospitals, physicians and patients all benefit from our service because the information is delivered securely to authorized users in real-time — speeding the ability of providers to better help patients.”

According to the head of St. Joseph Hoag Health, the HIE connection will enable patient-centered integration efforts throughout its provider network in southern California.

“While the current state of healthcare is mostly focused around the providers of care — doctors, nurses, hospitals — we must be equally focused on the consumer,” said President & CEO Richard Afable, MD, MPH.

“St. Joseph Hoag Health is at the forefront of developing an integrated model that brings together all participants in healthcare, building alignment and accountability, and bettering the patient experience,” he continued. “By participating in Cal INDEX, we can break down long-standing barriers and foster collaboration so that care can be more effectively coordinated, clinical outcomes can be improved and patient safety can be ensured.”

The statewide HIE provides clinicians with a comprehensive view of patient health information along with tools for coordinating care and information sharing.

Across the country in Pennsylvania, Keystone Health Information Exchange expanded its relationship with HIE developer Orion Health to further the ability of providers to share health information. KeyHIE, which is managed by Geisinger Health System, includes as participants 19 hospitals, more than 250 physician practices, and 95 long-term care facilities and maintains records of 4 million patients.

KeyHIE completed its transition from its former HIE system, Caradigm, to Orion as of June 1, 2016. This most recent deal extends that partnership through 2017.

Last year, the Pennsylvania HIE undertook two important initiatives to expand its connectivity not only within the state but also across the country.

As part of the first, KeyHIE put pen to paper on the P3N Participation Agreement, an interoperability framework to increase the capacity for health data exchange, connectivity and information sharing efficiency, and provide a foundation for nationwide interoperability.  Administered by the PA eHealth Partnership Authority, the Pennsylvania Patient & Provider Network (P3N) offers provider directory, patient index, and record locator services to participating networks. KeyHIE joined P3N in June 2016.

The second initiative took aim at connecting KeyHIE to the eHealth Exchange, the nationwide health information network operated by The Sequoia Project. That process is still underway.

Elsewhere in interoperability

Pfizer’s Hospira was at the center of two recent interoperability announcements.

Wyoming’s Sheridan Memorial Hospital became the first hospital to integrate a Cerner alerting solution and a Hospira infusion system.

“Maintaining our position as one of the most advanced intensive care units in the area is a top priority,” said the hospital’s Chief Nursing Officer Charlotte Mather. “This technology helps our caregivers stay connected and flag issues to the right person at the right time.”

Hospira also announced a formal partnership with Iatric Systems to enable smart pump and EHR interoperability for hospitals.

“On the clinical side, we’re sending IV medication orders from the EMR to the infusion pump, which significantly minimizes the chance of human errors and helps improve patient outcome,” said Iatric President Frank Fortner. “On the financial side, we’re sending start times, stop times, and other infusion details from the pump back to the EMR, which saves nurses time and may improve hospital reimbursements. This is a win-win for everyone, and we’re proud to partner with Hospira in this advancement of patient care.”




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