NextGen, Mass HIway connect
Healthcare IT company NextGen Healthcare Information Systems has connected to the Mass HIway, marking the opening of a new secure electronic communication channel for healthcare providers in Massachusetts. This has created thousands of connections across hospitals and eligible professionals across the country.
NextGen is a wholly owned subsidiary of Quality Systems – QSII.
The connection makes it possible for clients who use NextGen Share to exchange patient information with more than 350 organizations connected to the Mass HIway, the statewide health information exchange that enables the transmission of healthcare data and health information among providers, hospitals, and other healthcare entities throughout Massachusetts.
Cloud-based health IT company athenahealth also recently announced it would connect athenaNet, its national health information platform, to Mass HIway.
"Through our partnership with Massachusetts HIway we continue to commit ourselves to the free flow of healthcare data as we expand providers' ability to effortlessly send and receive a full picture of a patient's health story throughout the care continuum – regardless of the platform," Doran Robinson, vice president of network integration at athenahealth, said in a news release.
[See also: Mass HIway begins Phase 2 exchange.]
NextGen Share provides secure connectivity between both NextGen Healthcare and non-NextGen Healthcare providers. NextGen Share supports interoperability across all certified EHR vendors to enable exchange of clinical information. It includes a searchable provider directory and message translation between supported formats. Providers can exchange clinical data files such as Consolidated-Clinical Document Architecture, or C-CDA files and attachments, referral request letters and intake notes. Access to these patient files and the ability to share them will improve patient safety and patient health outcomes across the network, officials say.
Collaborating and connecting with an interoperability leader like NextGen Healthcare, Mass HIway participants will now be able to connect with many community health centers and practices that use NextGen's EHR and its health information system program, or HISP, resulting in better coordination of care for each patient and more comprehensive information for every physician, according to Darrel Harmer, acting secretariat chief information officer at the Massachusetts' Executive Office of Health and Human Services. "The partnership with NextGen Healthcare exemplifies how use of the Mass HIway can improve the speed and efficiency of care coordination for all Massachusetts’ residents," Harmer said in announcing the connection.
Harmer also praised athenahealth for setting an example for the industry by making interoperability and information-sharing a priority.
[See also: Massachusetts HIE to connect 80.]
"The exchange of healthcare data promises to deliver far greater benefits than just the convenience of data mobility," added Michael Lovett, executive vice president and general manager for NextGen Healthcare, in a statement. "The Direct messaging connection between NextGen Healthcare and the Mass HIway clearly demonstrates our commitment to enabling the uninhibited exchange of patient data and reaffirms our commitment to data fluidity. Through the deployment of NextGen Share, we are lowering the barriers to data interoperability, and the cost to do so, thereby creating the necessary communications channels to circumvent data blockers while complying with state and federal privacy laws."