Highlighting Successful Public Exchanges: Indiana & Ohio

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Thursday, 26 February 2015 18:03

Indiana and Ohio are two states which lead the way in creating successful public healthcare information exchanges (HIEs). In this article, we’ll examine some of the features of each of these state’s public exchanges and what makes them so successful.

Indiana’s HIE: http://www.ihie.org/
Snapshot_IHIEThe nation’s largest public health information exchange, the Indiana Health Information Exchange (IHIE), serves as a model for the rest of the country. It grew out of grants initially used to fund a research project for Regenstrief Institute, a healthcare research organization at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI). IHIE currently stores clinical data and other information from 94 hospitals, LTC and rehab facilities and clinics; 25,000 physicians and serves a population of more than six million people. Within this system, physicians, providers and hospitals use a web-based portal to share clinical information such as lab results, radiology reports, transcriptions, pathology, admissions/discharge/transfer reports and more via DOCS4DOCs, an electronic results delivery service. This information can also be shared between providers via the Indiana Network for Patient Care (INPC), and can assist with Transition of Care (ToC). The network gives physicians better clinical decision support, helps them refer patients appropriately as well as avoid redundant drug testing, lab reports and other medical errors. IHIE is also helping Accountable Care Organizations manage the cost of healthcare by coordinating and sharing their data to decrease duplicate testing, emergency room visits and hospital readmissions.

CoreTech has worked with the IHIE on multiple projects over the past three years. Our in-staff project managers have worked with developers and project managers for IHIE to connect this healthcare data and ensure that Indiana health systems connect with the exchange. As one of IHIE’s integration partners, we have intimate knowledge of the ins/outs of the IHIE through our work on some of these complex projects. IHIE is a very sophisticated platform and widely considered one of the most robust public healthcare information exchanges in the country.

CliniSync: Ohio Health Information Partnership: http://www.clinisync.org/
Snapshot_OhioThe Ohio Health Information Partnership is an independent nonprofit organization created with the help of in-kind funds to establish a public HIE for the state of Ohio. The state-wide exchange, called CliniSync, has enabled Ohio physicians, hospitals and healthcare professionals with disparate systems to safely and efficiently share patient data. The goals of the partnership were to develop a fully sustainable, state-wide HIE that could improve the quality of healthcare without relying on ongoing support from grants or the public

The CoreTech team recently visited with members of the Ohio Health Information Partnership’s 15-member board, which included top leaders at the Ohio State Medical Association, the Ohio Osteopathic Association, the Ohio Hospital Association, BioOhio and the State of Ohio. During the visit, we discussed the current success of the state’s CliniSync application, which uses HIE vendor software from Medicity and follows standard HL7 messaging protocols. This community-based web portal allows physicians to query records for patients connected to their system. Subscription-based pricing to hospitals provides ongoing funding for the exchange, with the fee structure is set by discharge summaries.

As of this writing, the state of Ohio has gotten 90 percent of the state's hospitals on board with CliniSync, along with 230 long-term care facilities and a handful of home health/hospice accounts. The organization is also providing consultancy services around meaningful use Stage 2 EHR incentive programs. Some of the highlights of Ohio’s HIE include e-Prescribing measures and PQRS physician rating scores. CliniSync continues to seek participation from health institutions, including the state’s largest health system, Ohio Health. Ohio also partners with HealthBridge, another HIE in the Cincinnati, Ohio region, and is currently working with other state HIEs that border Ohio, such as Michigan and Indiana.

The Success of State-wide Exchanges:
Indiana and Ohio’s health information exchanges have succeeded thus far due in large part to their combined efforts from several involved parties from the private, public and nonprofit sectors throughout the entire state. The success of these two state HIEs will no doubt encourage other states to ramp up their HIE development efforts. With a common goals and vision of connecting patient data across systems, these successful state-wide initiatives will put us one step closer to a fully-functional, nationwide exchange.