Electronic Health Records

Integration & Interoperability News

Indiana and Ohio HIEs Enable Interstate Health Data Exchange

The ability to receive data directly in the EHR adds value by presenting data within physicians’ workflow.

By Frank Irving

- Reid Health, a not-for-profit regional health system that serves both East Central Indiana and West Central Ohio, is part of a new health information exchange (HIE) initiative that crosses borders between the two states.

A collaborative effort between health information exchanges in Indiana and Ohio allows tracking of patients who cross state borders to receive care.

The arrangement enables physicians practicing at Reid Health in Richmond, Ind., to electronically receive information on patients who seek care in Ohio. Reid Health’s EHR system (NextGen) receives a direct feed of the information from Ohio’s HIE, HealthBridge.

Overall, Reid Health provides care for approximately 280,000 patients through locations in three Ohio and six Indiana counties. 

The Indiana Health Information Exchange (IHIE) has been sending clinical results to Ohio physicians via HealthBridge, a service line of The Health Collaborative, for the past six years.

“No other region in this country can provide the depth of data exchange and the two-way flow of information that we have accomplished here,” said Craig Brammer, CEO of The Health Collaborative, in a prepared statement. “This collaboration provides a real-world example of a bold vision for connecting healthcare not just in this region but across the nation.” 

Reid Health CEO Craig Kinyon said part of his organization’s commitment to care quality includes “utilizing the latest technologies.” He added, “Our partnership with IHIE and The Health Collaborative has seamlessly integrated the data so that it is immediately available and highly usable to our physicians.” The ability to receive data directly in the EHR adds value by presenting data within physicians’ workflow, he explained.

“All healthcare information should follow the patient, said IHIE CEO John Kansky, in a prepared statement. “We are proud to have these partners in preserving the confidence, trust and integrity of the data so that patients receive the best care possible.”

The collaboration has the potential to expand to other hospitals and networks throughout the region, according to IHIE, which claims to be the nation’s largest health information exchange. IHIE currently connects more than 100 hospitals, long-term care facilities, rehabilitation centers, community health clinics and other healthcare providers.

The organization also supports the Indiana Network for Patient Care, a clinical data repository accessed through IHIE’s CareWeb application. In October 2015, IHIE announced a partnership with Franciscan Alliance physicians, giving 580 physicians access to CareWeb from within their EHR system (Epic). Two months later, IHIE reported that it had expanded the reach of its clinical results delivery service with a connection into the EHR system (athenahealth) at St. Vincent Medical Group. That move increased statewide access to clinical information to more than 36,000 providers.

The Health Collaborative has been on the move recently as well. In December 2015, it received approval from both the Electronic Healthcare Network Accreditation Commission and Direct Trust under the Direct Trusted Agent Accreditation Program for Health Information Service Providers.

Jason Buckner, senior vice president of informatics for The Health Collaborative, said at the time that the accreditation would “allow more efficient transfer of clinical information across healthcare providers, and represent a great leap toward improved interoperability.”

 

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