Sunday, March 14, 2010

State HIEs Advancing

Trinity Health went live with the first stage of Medicity’s Novo Grid deployment to establish their Health Information Exchange (HIE) with 297 affiliated physician practices and nearly 1000 physicians. Trinity Health the fourth largest Catholic health care system in the country based in Novi Michigan, operates 44 acute care hospitals, 379 outpatient facilities, 33 long-term facilities, numerous home healthcare offices, and hospice programs in eight states.

Trinity Health’s HIE rollout to affiliated physicians began by connecting three Michigan Hospitals that included St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor, St. Joseph Mercy Livingston, and St. Joseph Mercy Saline with physician practices previously dependent on faxes to receive transcribed reports. The Grid technology distributes patient information directly to computers at the physician’s practice.

Trinity Health’s use of Novo Grid will enable community physicians’ secure, real-time electronic access to the health system’s clinical data. The Grid deploys intelligent software agents to enable physician offices to receive patient information directly into an EHR, or for paper-based practices, into an electronic “dropbox” accessible via a standard web browser.

According to James K. Lassetter, MD, Medicity’s CEO, “The unique flexibility of the Grid empowers hospital systems to connect to disparate physician practices regardless of their level of technology adoption.”

In another project located in Tennessee, CIGNA has contributed $150,000 grant to the Middle Tennessee eHealth Connect (MTeHC) toward developing a regional health information organization to exchange EMRs.

“MTeHC through the support of the CIGNA grant funding, is going to be a model in Middle Tennessee for clinicians and hospitals to have access to decision-ready health information at the point-of-care,” said Commissioner Dave Goetz, Tennessee Department of Finance and Administration.

Tennessee’s Office of e-Health Initiatives created in 2006 is the state’s coordinating authority for the exchange of electronic health information works with other regional health organizations such as the Mid South e-Health Alliance in Memphis and CareSpark in Kingsport.

The state of Nebraska is moving forward to expand the Nebraska Health Information Initiative (NeHII) to central Nebraska and is connected to the Mary Lanning Memorial Hospital in Hastings, Nebraska. The hospital is now live on NeHII and information concerning laboratory, radiology, and transcription reports is being exchanged with physicians in the state.

NeHII is working collaboratively with healthcare organizations across Nebraska to develop strategies for statewide implementation, and this includes applying for a grant through the Beacon Community Cooperative Agreement Program. The program will fund fifteen awards across the U.S. to qualified non-profit organizations or government entities representing geographic healthcare communities.

NeHII is currently developing a plan to use stimulus funding to enhance the NeHII application to meet the meaningful use criteria. One goal is to create a patient portal to allow patients to see their records stored on the HIE. A disease registry will also be installed and in addition, a reporting hub will be installed to allow practices to extract information to meet meaningful use requirements.

NeHII is also launching a statewide consumer and physician education program. The non-profit organization will also be working with CIMRO of Nebraska on a coordinated physician and consumer awareness campaign to increase HIE use across the state. CIMRO has applied for grant funding to be the Regional Extension Center for Nebraska.