Electronic Health Records

Adoption & Implementation News

Physicians to Launch Connecticut Health Information Exchange

A physician-led statewide health information exchange is set to launch this summer through a new partnership.

Connecticut establishes state HIE.

Source: Thinkstock

By Kate Monica

- The Connecticut State Medical Society (CSMS) recently partnered with KaMMCO Health Solutions (KHS) to institute a statewide health information exchange (HIE).

The physician-lead HIE will allow clinicians, hospitals, and other in-network healthcare providers the opportunity to exchange patient health records, utilize data analytics tools to improve patient outcomes, and streamline clinical processes.

“Connecticut physicians have been waiting for some time to have a functioning interoperable system,” said CSMS President Jeffrey A. Gordon, MD, in a public statement. “We know that the electronic exchange of medical information improves health outcomes by giving physicians the right information at the right time. Care is better when we are connected.”

The newly-minted HIE will go live toward the end of summer 2017.

Like other statewide HIEs across the country, the new Connecticut health information network will promote interoperability and give providers access to state-of-the-art health data analytic tools to address several aspects of care coordination and delivery, such as promoting patient safety, improving care delivery, and reducing information overload for providers at the point of care.

“By partnering with KHS, we benefit from a proven model developed by Kansas Health Information Network (KHIN), as well as the analytics tools developed based upon input and feedback from a pilot group of physicians and hospitals,” said CSMS Executive Vice President/Chief Executive Officer Matthew Katz. “Tools such as these benefit patients at the point of care, and support physicians and other healthcare professionals transitioning to the MIPS era under the MACRA law.”

Amidst the transition from volume-based care to value-based care, the new HIE prioritizes offering tools intended to help physicians meet objectives and regulations for patient care delivery and reporting required under new payment models.

“We are honored to partner with CSMS to develop this health information network and provide integral business intelligence tools to the healthcare community of Connecticut,” said KHS President and Chief Executive Officer Kurt Scott. “Two organizations with healthcare provider advocacy at their very core will be collaborating to build a dynamic network of healthcare solutions.”

Information overload has repeatedly been cited as a disadvantage to EHR use and HIEs. Supplying clinicians with not only an interoperable provider network but also analytics intelligence avoids inundating providers with an excess of data.

This partnership in pursuit of establishing an HIE in Connecticut follows a tumultuous and ultimately unsuccessful attempt years earlier that left providers and patients without easily transmittable electronic health information.

From 2010 to 2014, Connecticut received over 4.3 million in federal funds to try to get a statewide HIE off the ground. However, the Health Information Technology Exchange of CT (HITE-CT) lost steam after grappling with a discordant vendor, resulting in the HIE’s termination.

The new partnership with KHS comes with the reassuring credibility established by the Kansas Health Information Network (KHIN), which has successfully employed the technology to exchange electronic health records across providers and facilities in that state.

CSMS and KHS officials alike are optimistic the forthcoming health information exchange will assuage lingering concerns about the lack of interoperability and inefficiency in exchanging patient records that have plagued providers in Connecticut.

With this newest enterprise, Connecticut is slated to become yet another state able to contribute to advancing nationwide interoperability.

The proliferation of statewide HIEs across the country will provide the infrastructure necessary for the industry’s push toward digitized and data-driven healthcare enabling efficient, timely, and optimized patient care delivery.

As HHS and its departments such as ONC and CMS seek to promote widespread EHR use and health data exchange, connecting providers through a common network is becoming increasingly necessary.

Continue to site...