In May 2012, HealthShare of Southeastern Pennsylvania (SE-PA) invited 18 technology vendors to respond to a Request for Information (RFI) to begin the process to create a Healthcare Information Exchange (HIE). The state was awarded $17.1 million under ARRA to establish the HIE.
Vendors invited to participate in the RFI were selected based on their experience with similar HIEs to include state and regional HIEs solutions in other nearby states. The national HIMSS interoperability showcase was also used to select the list of vendors. HealthShare’s Vendor Selection Committee for the RFI was comprised of members of the local hospital, health insurance committees, and neutral third party stakeholders to HealthShare.
On August 9th, HealthShare of Southeastern Pennsylvania gave RFI respondents the list of vendors invited to participate in the RFI, information on the evaluation process, and the list of six technology vendors selected to continue in the vendor selection process. The RFI was then closed and transitioned to the RFP process. The RFP release will be followed by scripted product demonstrations with selected vendors in the fall timeframe.
The RFP offers respondents the opportunity to refine their previous responses to HealthShare’s RFI as well as address added requirements around their proposed technical solution and their ability to evolve from DIRECT to a robust exchange.
The respondents also need to express their support for Meaningful Use requirements especially with regard to interfacing with State HIE and Public Health entities, address Health Share’s desired implementation timeline, and provide innovative approaches related to the financial sustainability of services.
In the first week of November, the HealthShare Exchange Board passed bylaws for the non-profit organization to establish a health information exchange in Southeastern Pennsylvania, The bylaws call for a full board of up to 15 members, with hospitals and health systems holding five seats.
In addition, Pennsylvania laboratories are positioned to move forward with electronic health information exchange. The state eHealth Collaborative released a study that showed most laboratories operating the state are capable of sending test results electronically.
According to the study, most labs are exchanging information using either a web portal or a hub with small number using point-to-point exchange. Most labs have more than one delivery method available to them.
Also the study showed that while laboratories are exchanging information electronically, most of the responding laboratories were not familiar with the broader concept of an HIE. Thirteen percent of the laboratories surveyed stated that they did not plan to move to the electronic exchange of lab results. The reasons given included cost, lack of technology expertise or interest, and concerns about privacy and security.