Healthcare IT Interoperability, EHR interoperability, Hospital Interoperability

Infrastructure News

3 Health Information Exchanges Make Health IT Investments

HIE investments in health IT focused on health IT standard support, patient matching, and image sharing.

- November proved to be a busy month for a handful of health information exchanges looking to add to their health data exchange capabilities.

Health data exchange technology

In the Midwest, Michigan Health Information Network Shared Services (MiHIN) contracted with openAirWare to improve its handling of health IT standards continuity of care document (CCD) and clinical document architecture (CDA) which will in turn benefit its use of Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR), the draft standard and application programming interface (API).

The end-product was a piece of middleware used to parse and extract specific information contained in CCD/CDA documents exchanged through the state health information exchange.

"This intuitive middleware provides faster integration of data from CCD or CDA sources and allows MiHIN to pull key data out of large CCD/CDA documents so that only the data needed for a particular use case is shared," MiHIN Associate Director Jeff Livesay said in a public statement. "This capability increases the value of vital use cases like medication reconciliation. It uses proven standards that simplify seamless sharing of data, allowing us to quickly and easily assess, validate and integrate new source systems."

"Additionally, we can pull data out of CCD/CDA documents and put the data into FHIR resources,” he continued. We are heavily committed to FHIR and this very advanced, state-of-the-art parser developed for us by openAirWare will accelerate our FHIR efforts."

To the east, Chesapeake Regional Information System for our Patients (CRISP) selected cloud-based health IT vendor Verato to address the challenges associated with positively identifying patients. The real-time patient matching solution will support the HIE’s real-time clinical query and admission, discharge, and transfer systems.

"Our mission is to enable our healthcare community to share data in order to provide better care, reduce costs, and improve health outcomes," CRISP President David Horrocks stated in a press release.

"But this ability to share data relies on our ability to identify the same patient across every provider where they have received care,” he added. “For an HIE like CRISP, this patient matching exercise is especially challenging. During our proof of concept with Verato, their platform was able to match many of our most complex and difficult match decisions, even when faced with missing birthdates and phone numbers. And they can match in real time, so we can inject their answers immediately into our existing workflows."

Back out west, San Diego Health Connect (SDHC) will soon add image sharing to its list of HIE capabilities. The California HIE chose Ambra Health to eventually enable participants to exchange and view x-ray, CT, MRI, and ultrasound imaging via the provider portal.

"A partnership with Ambra Health enhances the image sharing capabilities of our platform through a fully integrated and federated cloud image management model," said SDHC Executive Director Daniel Chavez in an announcement.

The true beneficiaries of image-enabled health data exchange will be patients, according to Professor of Radiology and Director of Neuroradiology at UC San Diego and VA San Diego Roland R. Lee, MD.

"This is a huge advance; San Diego Health Connect will now instantly stream all of a patient's prior medical images to their doctor, instead of a patient needing to drive to the hospital, wait to burn the CDs of those images, then bring those CDs to their doctor appointment," he explained.

SDHC joins St. Luke's University Health Network and Boston Children's Hospital as users of the service will be. Providers at these two organizations are among the more than 750 clinicians using the cloud-based medical image management solution to exchange images.

Dig Deeper:

Breakdown of Health IT Interoperability Standards, Organizations
Open APIs, Use Cases Driving Interoperability at Allscripts

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