Idaho HIE takes role in helping providers meet Stage 2 and more
In the last several months, the Idaho Health Data Exchange has welcomed a number of healthcare provider groups, hospitals and vendors as HIE participants. New membership has been the result of numerous drivers.
The finalization of Stage 2 meaningful use criteria and new reimbursement models such as accountable care organizations (ACOs) have created momentum and pressure for healthcare providers to develop long-term strategies for continuity of care, which requires being able to share patient information with other providers.
IDHE is working on CCD exchange to help healthcare organizations meet Stage 2 meaningful use criteria – through the Veterans Affairs connection it is building and with private healthcare organizations. Large healthcare organizations are in preliminary discussions regarding ACO activity and looking at IDHE as the access point to enable the ACO environment and also complement their strategies for population health management and quality reporting.`
In addition to the mandates for interoperability, healthcare providers are hiring more and more recent graduates who have been trained on information technology in medical schools and wanting to work for healthcare IT-equipped organizations. Physician champions are also finally getting traction with leaders of their healthcare organizations on the value of HIE.
IHDE has been able to conduct live demonstrations of the HIE to providers, which has turned out to be a "powerful tool" in highlighting the value of getting patient information to the provider in real time, said executive director Scott Carrell.
Primary Health Medical Group (PHMG), a multi-specialty group and one of IDHE’s participants, is already reaping the benefits of HIE. David Peterman, MD, president of PHMG, recently treated an infant in his clinic who had been seen at a local hospital. Through IHDE, he accessed the infant’s admission and discharge summaries, physical and lab tests, which was “absolutely critical” to his ability to treat the infant in real time as opposed to having to fax or call the hospital, which could easily have resulted in delays in care.
PHMG: A multi-level HIE strategy
PHMG, which is based in Boise, is engaged in a multi-level HIE strategy. Beginning in April, five physicians began a beta test program across 12 clinics. During the beta test, physicians will be accessing information from IHDE via PHMG’s electronic health record system. Upon completion, PHMG will roll out the program to all 45 of its providers. The second phase is to upload PHMG’s patient information into IHDE, making information available for doctors across the state. PHMG sees more than 200,000 patients annually. The goal is to get the clinics' patient encounter information uploaded into the IHDE by the end of the year, according to Carrell.