Electronic Health Records

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Indiana Health Information Exchange Expands Across State Lines

IHIE's expansion into Ohio will create a first of its kind exchange directly between EHRs.

By Sara Heath

The Indiana Health Information Exchange (IHIE) has expanded across state lines, providing interoperable EHR information to a hospital in Ohio, according to an IHIE press release.

The Health Collaborative, an extension of IHIE which fosters interoperability between different disparate health IT systems, will extend into Reid Health, a hospital located in Richmond, Indiana, which also provides care to a noteworthy population of Ohio residents.

Reid Health provides care to about 280,000 patients across different communities in both Indiana and Ohio. These patients primarily come from three counties in Ohio and six in Indiana. This should help drive care outcomes by making patient information immediately available to treating physicians.

“Reid Health is committed to providing world-class care to patients, and part of that commitment includes utilizing the latest technologies to support the care we provide,” said Reid Health’s president and CEO Craig Kinyon.  “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.”

This exchange of information will work directly between the hospitals’ EHR systems, with information feeding into Reid Health’s EHR. According to IHIE officials, enabling EHRs to seamlessly exchange information across an IHIE is a unique endeavor.

“Establishing interoperability between health information exchange organizations, such as IHIE and The Health Collaborative, is unique. Adding in the capability of the HIEs to ‘talk’ to EMR systems clearly adds value by providing the data directly to the provider in their existing workflow,” the press release says.

In turn, IHIE’s endeavors with The Health Collaborative and Reid Health are one-of-a-kind across the nation. Executives from The Health Collaborative confirm that they are the only region that has been able to establish this kind of connection.

 “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,” explained CEO of The Health Collaborative Craig Brammer. “This collaboration provides a real world example of a bold vision for connecting healthcare not just in this region but across the nation.”

The ultimate goal is to extend these kinds of services beyond Reid Health and into other hospitals within the Indiana and Ohio regions.

“All healthcare information should follow the patient,” added John P. Kansky, CEO of the Indiana Health Information Exchange.  “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 IHIE has been slowly but surely expanding. At the end of last year, the exchange announced the addition of St. Vincent Medical Group to the HIE.

This partnership sought to facilitate the exchange of patient tests, lab results, and clinical results directly into St. Vincent’s EHR system. This would enable St. Vincent’s 900 providers to securely access all patient information, regardless of facility.

St. Vincent’s is now also able to access IHIE’s DOCS4DOCS, which is the HIE system that connects patient information amongst participating healthcare facilities across the state. As of December 2015, D4D connected a near 36,000 providers to patient information across the interoperable system.

Ideally, expanding the HIE and physicians’ opportunities to securely access patient information will drive care outcomes.

“Making the physician’s job easier is the right thing to do for the patient,” said St. Vincent Chief Clinical Officer Richard Fogel, MD, said in a public statement. “This solution can help improve our efficiency by working within our existing system and enhancing the provider-patient relationship so that each interaction is as productive as possible.”




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