In January, the New Jersey Department of Health (DOH) issued a Request for Applications (RFA) to solicit proposals to supply technology services to establish and operate the New Jersey Health Information Network (NJHIN). The DOH intends to award a grant to operate the technology infrastructure of the NJHIN.
The goal is to electronically exchange patient health information with health information organizations and state health data sources and eventually connect to the state eHealth Exchange. To begin the process, the state will award up to $1.6 million for the initial development and implementation of NJHIN. To be eligible, applicants must be a New Jersey State University or a New Jersey not for profit organization. Eligible applicants may partner with an experienced Health IT solutions provider.
The state’s model is to develop a network of networks model. This approach is to build upon the existing capabilities of the state’s regional Health Information Organizations (HIO). Each HIO has its own network of member hospitals, physicians, and other healthcare providers. A majority of the $11.4 million in State HIE Cooperative Agreement funds has been sub-granted to selected HIOs in the state to build regional HIE capability.
Currently, there are five regional HIOs:
· Jersey Health Connect is the state’s largest HIO comprised of hospitals, health systems, physician practice groups, and long term care facilities spanning across 11 of the state’s 21 counties. Initial HIO efforts focused on obtaining 501c3 status, developing internal processes and systems, and laying the foundation for implementation efforts. The plan for 2013 and beyond is to implement HIO to HIO exchange
· Camden HIE became active in 2010. In 2013 and beyond, the Camden HIE will work to expand HIE services to other healthcare providers, enhance capabilities, expand to other partners including long term care facilities, pursue other services for members and partnerships, and implement HIO to HIO exchange
· Health-e-cITi-NJ was first implemented during a pilot phase. The pilot phase was a live production exchange of health information between Newark’s Beth Israel Hospital, the Visiting Nurses Association, and Newark’s FQHCs. In 2013, the HIO will focus on training physicians and other HIE users on how to use HIE tools and expand real-time data exchange to other hospitals and FQHCs
· NJSHINE, the state’s newest HIE received a $1 million grant award from the DOH in December 2012. The HIO will serve a diverse population in seven county areas, connect to hospitals, and connect to other area health providers and long term care facilities
· Trenton HIE is working to transform healthcare for the City of Trenton by expanding access to high quality coordinated healthcare. The membership includes hospitals, FQHCs, and 90 percent of the primary care physicians in the area. Plans are for the HIE to be operational in 2013
NJHIN will also establish and maintain a gateway to the Nationwide Health Information Network and will be upgraded over time to take into account evolving eHealth Exchange standards and policies. This connection will provide bidirectional access between NJHIN, participating entities, and other Federal agencies participating in the eHealth Exchange such as DOD, VA, HHS, and others.
Go to www.nj.gov/health/bc/njhit/documents/njhin_rfa_01132013.pdf to view the RFA for the Health Information Network for the State of NJ Department of Health. Applications must be submitted by March 22, 2012. For more information email Miriam Bolger, HIT Project Manager at email@example.com.