Sunday, December 6, 2009

KDHE's Approach to HIT

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) the state designee for health information technology developed the web site to let the public know about the state’s Health Information Exchange. As the operational and strategic planning for the HIE gets underway in January 2010, we want the public to have easy access to information and developments,” said KDHE Secretary Roderick Bremby.

The Kansas e-Health Advisory Council has been meeting in workgroups to focus on issues such as governance, technology, business operations, finances, and legal matters. In January 2010, the e-Health Advisory Council will start consolidating their workgroups in order to form a strategic plan for Kansas. Throughout 2010, the Council will focus on operational and strategic planning.

The eHealth Advisory Council came together in mid November to discuss the key components needed for the statewide HIE. One of the recommendations discussed by the eHealth Steering Team was whether there is value in creating a fast track to support meaningful use for EMR- ready providers.

An idea was discussed as to whether to launch an operation or a small group to focus on the rapid deployment for Kansas providers that already have EMRs and want an HIE option in 2010. This approach would provide an option for those providers that are “ahead of the curve” to try this out while keeping within the framework of the statewide vision. Eighteen of the meeting attendees voted yes and none voted no.

The state submitted their grant application to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology in mid October. Kansas expects to receive $9 million for the four year project with confirmation of that amount in December and hopes to have funds available in January.

In the meantime, there some current state and local ongoing IT initiatives that are helping the state to adopt health IT such as:

• The Clinics Patient Index at the Central Plains Regional Health Care Foundation links patient information to six community clinics via a computerized patient enrollment and tracking system

• The Jayhawk Point of Care project brings together all of the Pratt Regional Medical Center’s key departments in a single database to communicate vital patient information

• CareEntrust has several leading employers and healthcare organizations in the Kansas City metropolitan area subscribing to their employer-based electronic health record

• The Northwest Kansas Health Alliance the largest formal Critical Access Hospital network in the U.S links members via telemedicine services to provide teleradiology usage

• The Sedgwick County Community Health Record helps the Medicaid managed care population in the county

• KAN-ED a statewide initiative brings broadband capabilities to hospitals and other member institutions within the state

• The Kansas Health On-Line Consumer Health Online Tool has a website that includes healthcare costs and quality information

• KC Carelink is a non-profit collaborative using IT to help providers across healthcare safety net organizations

• Kansas City Bi-State Health Information Exchange provides a secure, integrated, interoperable HIE in Kansas City

• The University of Kansas Center for Telehealth and Telemedicine network has grown to more than 100 sites across the state