Iowa takes initial steps toward HIE
The state of Iowa is developing a strategic business and financial sustainability plan for a statewide health information exchange (HIE). According to officials, the plan is being developed in partnership with Hielix, a creator of operationally sustainable, open solutions to seamlessly exchange health information, and MEDNET, a provider of nationwide health information network (NHIN) connectivity and HIE solutions.
The contract, facilitated by Iowa e-Health – a collaboration created by the Iowa Department of Public Health to plan and promote the adoption and use of health information technology across the state – commences a critical first step in the HIE planning phase, as detailed in the 2010 Iowa e-Health Strategic and Operational Plan submitted to Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC).
"Financial sustainability is vital to the success of Iowa e-Health's health information exchange," says Kim Norby, Iowa e-Health executive director. "We look forward to working with the Hielix-MEDNET team, who bring a great deal of knowledge and experience to help us determine the best possible way for ensuring long term viability of the HIE."
In March, ONC awarded Iowa $8,375,000 to establish a statewide HIE by 2014 as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009's HITECH provision. Iowa's Strategic and Operational Plan describes the strategies and activities that will be necessary to advance adoption of EHRs and establish a statewide HIE. Although the plan is pending approval, Iowa e-Health moved quickly to engage Hielix and MEDNET to create a financial sustainability plan for the HIE.
"We are grateful to the Iowa Department of Public Health for awarding us this contract and applaud their groundbreaking effort to improve the quality of patient care and reduce health costs," said Patti Dodgen, CEO of Hielix. "We look forward to working with MEDNET and the state to create a realistically achievable, long term and fiscally sound business and financial sustainability plan to support a statewide HIE."
The Hielix-MEDNET partnership incorporates Hielix's ability to seamlessly integrate health IT solutions into new and existing health delivery models with MEDNET's technical expertise in achieving data interoperability and NHIN connectivity between healthcare providers and HIEs.
This story was amended on Oct. 25.