Sunday, December 2, 2012

State's Future IT Plans

The State of Arkansas through their State Technology Council (STC) recently released their “State of Arkansas Strategic Plan for IT 2013-2015”. According to Arkansas Chief Technology Officer, Claire Bailey, “The state at 35.2 percent leads the nation in the percentage of citizens living in wireless only households and the number of mobile devices used on the state portal is rapidly growing.

Highly portable devices are enabling social workers, health inspectors and others in the workforce to perform a wide variety of tasks at any location making them more efficient and productive.

In addition, new web sites are being developed with cross-platform capability specifically for smartphones and enterprise email servers provide support for mobile devices. Arkansas is working to develop applications that are device independent.

The Arkansas Wireless Information Network (AWIN) is a multi-based program to leverage new and existing wireless resources to create a statewide interoperable digital wireless communications network for emergency responders and public service entities all across the state. The 21,400 AWIN users consist of law enforcement, fire, and other emergency services at the city, county, state, and federal levels.

AWIN will enable the National Public Safety Broadband Network to be implemented in the state to provide an additional layer of communications to the first responder public safety community. The project is estimated to be completed December 2014.

The Arkansas Telehealth Oversight and Management (ATOM) project was initiated to integrate isolated community anchor networks to expand healthcare services and broadband. The network is comprised of healthcare centers, clinics, higher education facilities, public safety entities, and research services.

The ATOM project will add 474 network sites to create a comprehensive statewide network of 441 community anchor institutions to assure 24/7 connectivity 365 days a year for all healthcare sites. The ATOM project is creating the South Central Telemedicine Training Center at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.

The Arkansas Office of Health Information Technology (OHIT) was established to provide leadership to develop the HIE “State Health Alliance for Records Exchange” (SHARE). In 2011, the OHIT received $7.9 million in federal funds for SHARE.

Since August 2012, the state HIE has been able to move from Phase I to Phase II with over 1,100 direct sign-ups in six months and another 5,000 providers waiting to come on board. The expected completion data for the project is February 7, 2015 with the estimates for the project to cost $3,300.000.

Other HIT initiatives in the state besides SHARE, including the Arkansas Medicaid Enterprise, the Health Benefits Exchange, and Electronic Health Record systems are now being implemented at the Department of Health and the Department of Human Services.

The National Information Exchange Model (NIEM) is going to exchange intergovernmental information. NIEM is not only a tool to solve data integration challenges but it is also valuable to exchange data between disparate systems.