Health Information Exchange: Connecting the DotsApr 21st, 2010 | By Jamie Washington, RHIT | Category: Health Information Exchange, Meaningful Use
The ultimate objective of every HITECH initiative is to create a National Health Information Network. With close to 1,000 EHR vendors, and no standards, how will we accomplish this mission?
The State Health Information Exchange project is an initiative managed by the ONC (Office of National Coordinator for Health Information Technology). The main objective is to provide a method for ONC to work with states to ensure all health information exchange (HIE) activities throughout the US align. The goal being for ONC to disseminate information about the national agenda and for the states based efforts to inform the federal government thereby enabling a nationwide alignment of all health information exchange activities.
Nearly all 50 states have some organization or consortium that seeks to coordinate statewide health information exchange. ONC is collaborating with state efforts because of their coordination roles within states. They seek to balance the interests of all state HIE stakeholders and provide a conduit for consensus on the adoption of state standards, policies, procedures and practices.
Not many know this but this is actually the third-year of the project. The American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) and the Foundation of Research and Education (FORE) are leading the forefront. The project seeks to identify and then disseminate principles and best practices to guide developing state-level health information exchange organizations in the areas governance, accountab
ility, practices and financial sustainability. This project is guided by a steering committee of 13 of the leading state-level HIEs.
According to ONC:
The first two years of the project resulted in:
* Identified the important contributions that can be made by state-level HIEs including their role as convener, coordinator and, in some cases, operators of health information exchanges;
* Identified sustainability considerations related to these HIE roles, services, and business models;
* Developed considerations related to ensuring HIEs are accountable and acting in the public’s interest;
* Produced findings and project recommendations including the need for State governments to formally recognize the state-level entities and authorize them to fully accomplish their unique roles;
* Developed a framework to assess state level organization policies and practices for access, use and control so that multi-jurisdictional exchange is enabled; and
* Established guiding principles for developing state-level HIEs.
Recently, $567 Million Dollars was awarded to state HIEs. Since the mission is an integrated Health Information Network, these HIEs are critical to the success of the HITECH Act and the National Health Information Network.
Stay tuned for more information about these Health Information Exchanges and how the government plan will lead to the ultimate goal: patient health records where they are needed when they are needed.