- An agreement between two health information exchanges in Texas has narrowed the distance between Houston and Austin from a patient data perspective. The Texas Health Services Authority (THSA) announced that users of the Greater Houston Healthconnect (GHH) and Austin-based Integrated Care Collaboration (ICC) will be able to access patient health data and critical medical information through the HIETexas interface.
“The new suite of shared services for local HIEs allows us to simplify and accelerate data transfer while always respecting patient privacy,” THSA CEO Tony Gilman said in a public statement. “Establishing strong local HIEs has been a core strategy in developing our state’s health information infrastructure. Connecting Greater Houston Healthconnect and Integrated Care Collaboration is an exciting and significant advancement for our state.”
In total, nearly a dozen local HIEs serves the entirety of Texas:
• FirstNet Exchange
• Greater Houston HEALTHCONNECT
• Health Information Network of South Texas
• Health Information Partnership of Southeast Texas
• Healthcare Access San Antonio
• Integrated Care Collaboration
• North Texas Accountable Healthcare Partnership
• Paso del Norte HIE
• Rio Grande Valley HIE
• Rio One Network
• Southeast Texas Health Systems
The recent work of the THSA has focused on bridging information gaps between these various health information networks (HINs) and the provider and patient populations their services cover.
“Currently, health information in local HIEs is siloed, so an emergency room doctor in Austin cannot get patient records from Dallas, Houston or San Antonio,” Gilman remarked. “HIETexas will connect these community HIEs so that the emergency room doctor or another treating physician has access to the right information, at the right time.”