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Ohio Military Medical Center Joins Health Information Exchange

An air force medical center joined the Ohio state health information exchange to connect patients with civilian providers.

Source: Thinkstock

By Kate Monica

- Wright-Patterson Medical Center recently collaborated with the Ohio Health Information Partnership to allow civilian providers to access patient EHRs of military personnel through health information exchange.  

Located on Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Greene County, Ohio, the medical center aims to eliminate duplicate health records, improve communication between providers, and enhance care coordination for the 58,000 military personnel, families, and veterans that frequent the facility.

The Ohio Health Information Partnership is a health information exchange (HIE) with 157 participating hospitals. Regional HIE participants include Children’s Medical Center of Dayton, Premier Health Partners, Kettering Health Network, and Wilson Health System. 

In November, Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus and the Cleveland Clinic also became members of the exchange.

Wright-Patterson has been rolling out HIE services for its patients and providers in a phased approach since March of 2015.

First, the medical center introduced a results delivery file. The capability uploads patient test results and hospital reports to the medical center in near-real time as tests are completed. Other solutions that followed included the Community Health Record, which allows providers to view a patient’s longitudinal, comprehensive health record in a web-based format.

READ MORE: HIE Use Cuts Costs, Increases Productivity in STI Treatment

 “Receipt of patient records were delayed in the past and viable patient data was available days later,” said Wright-Patterson Medical Center RMC Administrative Clerk Shelley Loudermilk. “These types of circumstances have been remedied with the use of the Community Health Record.  This system is an optimal way to obtain real-time information quickly and efficiently.”

“It also improves the continuity of care for pediatric patients through improved efficiencies from central record maintenance and immediate access of complete patient medical history at time of treatment for our pediatric patients,” she added.

Military personnel in pediatrics, admissions and dispositions, utilization management, case management, and other areas have access to the Community Health Record.

“The center’s core objective is to collect patient data from all relevant sources to create a current, accurate, and comprehensive health care record,” said Lieutenant Colonel George Delaney. “After a full overview of the program’s capabilities, I discovered there were other uses, like the RMC, which could leverage the data sharing system to gain efficiencies in patient health care management.”

The medical center most recently enabled admissions, discharge, transfer (ADT) notifications to improve care coordination during transitions of care. Wright-Patterson also utilizes DirectTrust messaging services to send discharge summaries and other continuity of care documents (CCDs) from area hospitals.

READ MORE: HIE Partnership Targets Health Data Exchange, Population Health

Clinicians will also be able to search Ohio’s HIE for a patient and retrieve CCDs using the Query and Retrieve (QnR) function enabled through the Sequoia Project’s eHealth Exchange.  The functionality will also be directly integrated with the Department of Defense (DoD) Virtual Lifetime Electronic Record (VLER) system.

In 2018, civilian hospitals using the Community Health Record or integrated QnR solution will have the ability to request data from DoD about military patients.

Two Texas HIEs Enable Improvements to Optimize Exchange

Two Texas-based HIES have recently made efforts to improve health data exchange for participating patients and providers.

Texas Health Services Authority (THSA) in Austin announced it has strengthened its privacy and security certification program — SECURETexas — by partnering with several health IT companies.

These vendors will work with covered entities to ensure compliance with privacy and security regulations that safeguard protected health information (PHI.)

READ MORE: HIE Collaboratives Helping to Advance Health IT Interoperability

Vendors now enrolled to conduct assessments for SECURETexas certifications include Citiscape IT, Cyper Trust Alliance, DCX Technology, Texas Medical Liability Trust, and others.

“THSA’s Preferred Vendor Program is designed to leverage the experience of a diverse range of industry partners who have deep expertise in the health IT privacy and security sector in Texas,” said THSA CEO George Gooch. “Covered entities in Texas will benefit from SECURETexas certification, which ensures safeguards are in place to comply with federal and state regulations, helping organizations of all sizes avoid government sanctions.”

The public-private partnership was created by Texas Legislature in 2007 to promote and implement secure health data exchange. In 2011, the Texas Legislature authorized THSA to identify relevant security and privacy standards and develop a certification program to help covered entities demonstrate compliance with federal and state data protection requirements.

Preferred vendors fulfill aspects of SECURETexas certification including assessments for certification, validating compliance, and ongoing assessments.

Meanwhile, Texas-Based HASA recently selected RosettaHealth to provide a cloud-based Software as a Service (SaaS) interoperability platform to enhance patient EHR exchange for HIE participants.

The non-profit community HIE serves patients and providers in northern, southern, and western Texas. The RosettaHealth platform will allow providers in HASA’s network to have automated access to clinical patient data in real-time.

HASA providers will also be able to automatically query for patient health data across all facilities part of the HIE.

“The RosettaHealth platform allows HASA to best support the organization’s overall mission of ensuring that patient information can flow without friction among providers’ EHR systems, based on where the patient is receiving care,” said HASA CIO Philip Beckett. “Ultimately, this automated exchange allows healthcare providers to access the right clinical data in a timely fashion, and helps ensure providers have a patient’s complete record available at the point of care.”

RosettaHealth will also connect HASA to the Sequoia Project’s eHealth Exchange to enable HASA to exchange data with DoD and VA.

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