The Indiana Health Information Exchange received $16 million of the $220 million awarded by HHS on May 4th through the Beacon Community Program to help communities at the cutting edge of electronic health record adoption attain a new level of healthcare quality and efficiency. The IHIE was one of 15 groups from over 130 applications throughout the country to receive an award.
The funding will enable the expansion of the country’s largest HIE to new community providers. This will help improve cholesterol and blood sugar control for diabetic patients and reduce preventable re-admissions by using telemonitoring for high risk chronic disease patients after they are discharged from the hospital. The plan is to help treat chronic diseases across 41 counties comprising 45 percent of the Indiana population base.
According to J. Marc Overhage, M.D. PhD, and President and CEO of the IHIE, said “We already are working with over 14,000 physicians and over 70 healthcare organizations, including 60 hospitals, and stakeholders to accelerate and demonstrate the feasibility and value of HIEs.”
The Indiana Beacon Community’s 36 month program will be conducted with three main activities:
• Currently, the exchange securely captures a rich set of clinical data, but patient information from physician practices has been difficult to capture. This information includes vital signs and point-of-care testing such as cholesterol levels that are “siloed” in physician offices. This funding agreement will enable this data to be included.
• IHIE will be able to broaden its Quality Health First Program by adding new disease and wellness measures and functionality while broadening provider participation to address efficiency, quality, and public health
• IHIE will work with providers and Indian’s federally funded HIT Regional Extension Centers and focus on rural physicians. Help will be provided to devise and implement electronic health record adoption and meaningful use in at least 60 percent of the primary care providers in the Indiana Beacon Community area
The goal in the state is to reduce preventable hospital admission and emergency department visits related to ambulatory care by 3 percent, reduce the number of ambulatory care re-admissions by 10 percent, reduce the number of redundant radiologic studies by 10 percent, increase the number of patients screened for colorectal and cervical cancer by 5 percent, increase the data for adult immunizations by 5 percent, improve the number of patients who are diabetic and have the condition under control by 10 percent, and improve the number of diabetic patients that have their cholesterol under control by 10 percent.
IHIE plans to work with other community partners, like Purdue’s Indiana Healthcare Information Technology Extension Center $12 million in ARRA funds to help healthcare providers adopt and use health IT.
In addition, the leaders of the IHIE think that the existing $10.3 million grant made to the state of Indiana from ARRA’s State Health Information Exchange Cooperative Agreement Program can be leveraged in new ways to improve health outcomes in the state and reduce costs across the continuum of healthcare.