Roundup: New health information exchanges emerge, expand

Photo: United States Virgin Islands Government House

More governments, territories and healthcare organizations are establishing health information exchanges to enable faster and more seamless sharing of health data among doctors’ offices, hospitals, federally qualified health centers, state agencies, public health clinics, labs and community-based organizations.

HIEs have been growing across states or regions as community health centers, health systems, behavioral health organizations, correctional health providers and more join data networks. 

USVI to test connecting government data to service delivery

U.S. Virgin Islands Governor Albert Bryan Jr. signed a letter of intent with CRISP Shared Services to participate in a data and interoperability pilot program that the government and organization say will lay the foundation for a new government-run HIE.

The goal is to “finally test our ability to connect the healthcare and services-related data collected by our government to ensure the proper identification and efficient delivery of services and enhance our care to Virgin Islands residents,” said Bryan in a statement. 

Bryan met with CRISP along with District of Columbia health officials in Washington, D.C. to discuss best practices in the evolution of clinical data exchange and coordination between physical, behavioral, social and human services organizations.

“It will provide health care professionals, agencies and community organizations with key information to help them make quicker decisions and provide better treatments, resulting in more timely care and more positive outcomes with less burden to the patients,” Bryan said.

The partnership agreement and roadmap, announced at the USVI Office of Health Information Technology summit last week. Bryan established OHIT in 2021.

“We have already begun the behind-the-scenes work of building out a governance structure, and along with creating local policies and agreements that comply with federal privacy and security standards that support the secure electronic exchange of health information, this brings it all into focus and sets it into high gear now,” said OHIT Director Michelle M. Francis in the statement.

“The U.S. Virgin Islands are uniquely positioned to execute rapid modernization of their public health infrastructure,” added Craig Behm, CEO of CRISP.

On health data interoperability, USVI is essentially starting from scratch, according to a representative.

The pilot phase will initiate the project plan, which includes establishing legal structures, data use and limitation agreements, outreach and onboarding plans for hospitals/providers and integration milestones to establish a fully operational HIE, she told Healthcare IT News by email.

“The engaged and thoughtful policymakers are already aligned with healthcare constituents, allowing for the development not only of basic interoperability through an HIE but also the full-scale development of a health data utility,” Behm said.

Oracle Health partners with Ontario’s TransForm SSO

This past month, Oracle Health and the TransForm Shared Service Organization, a group of 21 Ontario-based hospitals and facilities, announced the launch of the Ontario eHub HIE to help the organizations share patient data more easily and securely.

The initial roll-out is integrating 16 long-term care facilities with five hospitals to support patients moving from acute to LTC. Caregivers at these facilities have a clear view into each patient’s health history, care plans, medications and more from any connected device or existing electronic health record system, according to Oracle’s announcement.

The partners say the HIE will reduce administrative overhead and improve patient care coordination and that all Ontario healthcare facilities and their LTC facility partners on Oracle Health EHR will be integrated into the eHub by the end of 2024.

“Ontario is rapidly advancing towards more integrated systems, with the province adopting policies and establishing standards,” explained Lyn Baluyot, president and CEO, TransForm, in a statement.

“Within the framework, HIE partners are implementing the first steps of a provincial data exchange that delivers a multitude of benefits including improved and safer transitions of care for patients and residents and better coordination of healthcare services for health service providers,” she said.

“Initiatives like eHub in Ontario highlight our commitment to building a more connected and open healthcare ecosystem that will help deliver better outcomes for both patients and the medical professionals that work tirelessly to serve them,” said Brian Sandager, vice president and general manager, Canada, Oracle Health.

Greater New Orleans HIE rebrands as PelEX 

On June 20, the Greater New Orleans Health Information Exchange announced that it will change its name and brand to PelEX.

The HIE has served Louisiana’s Medicaid population, Federally Qualified Health Centers in the New Orleans area and community health clinics for 10 years, and has expanded into other areas of Louisiana, including Baton Rouge, Lafayette and Opelousas, PelEX says.

The organization says the rebrand, featuring a new logo with the state of Louisiana and its state bird, the pelican, symbolize its “new approach to care coordination from a statewide lens.”

Andrea Fox is senior editor of Healthcare IT News.
Email: [email protected]

Healthcare IT News is a HIMSS Media publication.

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