Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Developing a Successful HIE

Joy Duling, Interim Executive Director for the Central Illinois Health Information Exchange (CIHIE) speaking at a April 3rd webinar shared some of the strategies used to prepare for their HIE implementation.

CIHIE an independent non-profit organization covers a dense, urban population of 1.3 million with 20 counties in the region. The area includes 27 hospitals, 20 health departments, 2,800 physicians, 280 pharmacies, 12 laboratories, plus imaging centers. Since 2010, CIHIE has raised nearly $400,000 in seed money, plus annual service contracts with seven hospitals and four clinics were in place to kick off the HIE rollout.

A few of the organizations that have recently joined CIHIE include the Institute of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, a non-profit medical rehabilitation center with 18 locations across Central Illinois, the Community Health Improvement Center, and the Macon County Health Department.

Duling explained that in 2009, the state was ranked 49th in the country in terms of readiness for an HIE. People weren’t talking about an exchange at the community level and there was fierce competition among local hospital systems that made the likelihood of an HIE appear unrealistic.

A few years ago to actively begin the development process, an Executive Council consisting of regional councils formed workgroups to look at governance, financial sustainability, communications, legal/privacy issues, how to handle clinical data, and how to develop the infrastructure.

The power of the people’s voice and their personal stories were shared when preparing to implement the HIE. Duling spoke about her own personal cancer treatment and how important it is to exchange information. She explained how during her treatment period, she went to a number of hospitals and doctors, however, none of the providers involved in her case actually had access to all of her records. She understands how important it is to have electronic records when treating a complex medical situation.

She also commented on how use cases can be a key component to getting people excited about participating in an HIE. Also, the HIE team worked very hard to get media interest by writing and talking about human interest stories, involving many senior groups in conversations, and worked very hard to present new ideas and thoughts on consumer-oriented radio shows.

CIAN won the 5 year multi-million dollar contract to implement the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model. CIAN will also provide consulting, design, implementation, and the operation foundation for the CIHIE.

To help further HIE development, the National eHealth Collaborative (NeHC) released their “Health Information Exchange Roadmap: The Landscape and a Path Forward” which is available at The Roadmap offers stakeholders a clear picture of efforts being undertaken by both the public and private sectors to create and implement the building blocks for widespread deployment of interoperable HIE.

The Roadmap covers ONC-led efforts to develop nationally recognized standards that can be leveraged by local HIE initiatives, major steps that communities can follow to accelerate progress toward realizing a widespread and successful deployment of interoperable EHRs, connected health IT tools, and real-time information sharing through an HIE.

The release of the HIE roadmap kicked off the launch of NeHC’s new “HIE Learning Network” that includes a series of workgroups. Some of the topics to be discussed in the workgroups include business models, measures of success, governance and technology, best practices, patient consent model, secondary uses for data, payer and employer engagement in the HIE, and the role and function of an HIE to support accountable care.