Along the path to HIE uptake, EHRs play a widening role

As featured in CMIO

Recent conversations with several health IT pros have made clearer the EHR connection to HIEs. As one of the features in this Portal indicates, an EHR can expand clinical information exchange throughout an organization, and can bridge gaps in the exchange process, thus paving the way for HIE connections.

So, it’s good news for HIEs that EHR certification criteria are now on the books and approved certification bodies are on the horizon, according to the ONC.

For exchanges that are already in place, standardized information is vital to effective interactions, and the IHE is on the case, working to streamline processes for 2011 Connectathon participants, with the goal of keeping the reality of today’s information integration efforts front and center at the HIMSS 2011 Interoperability showcase.

HIE accreditation itself took a step ahead recently, when the Utah Health Information Network became the first organization to earn accreditation from the Electronic Healthcare Network Accreditation Commission (EHNAC). UHIN was evaluated in the areas of privacy and security, technical performance, business practices and organizational resources, and passed muster.
Vendors are also working to help with HIE uptake. Axolotl has released Elysium Express, a web-based cloud computing tool for hospital-to-physician and physician-to-physician connectivity. Elysium Express provides an open migration path for HIE needs, and can send discrete, computable clinical data to ambulatory EMRs.

Other HIE deals involve Memphis, Tenn.-based MidSouth eHealth Alliance (MSeHA), which has signed a contract with ICA under which ICA will provide HIE capabilities, including secure clinical communication and a clinical intelligence engine to enable construction of a longitudinal patient record.