SHIEC expands 'Patient Centered Data Home' initiative, linking HIEs nationwide

The national rollout from The Strategic Health Information Exchange Collaborative enables hospitals and patients to more easily share health data.
By Mike Miliard
01:22 PM
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The Strategic Health Information Exchange Collaborative announced a nationwide expansion of what it calls the Patient Centered Data Home.

Essentially, PCDH is an inter-HIE data sharing system and notification that allows patients' records to follow them wherever they seek care, nationwide – enabling easier access to their records, even if they present at a hospital or clinic that's not a part of the HIE in which their local providers participate.

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For providers, the system synchronizes records among the HIEs whose participating hospitals and practices are caring for a given patient, and then gives detail about where that patient's record is located for more streamlined query and response.

On the patient side, the initiative offers them the chance for quality personalized care, officials said, no matter where they might be in the U.S.

"The HIEs working together to create PCDH built a powerful foundation for interoperability between HIEs – and we managed to do it using our current technologies," said Dan Porreca, executive director for Western New York's HEALTHeLINK HIE, and chair of the SHIEC board of directors. SHIEC is a collaborative of health information exchanges and their business and technology partners. "We also created and agreed to a national, legally-binding agreement, which laid the foundation for HIEs sharing data with each other across state lines and throughout communities.” 

How does it work? When a patient arrives at a medical facility away from home, that provider creates an Admission, Discharge, Transfer (ADT) message that includes a ZIP Code. PCDH can automatically detect when a patient is being treated within a ZIP code outside of his or her normal home area.

When that happens, the provider's HIE alerts the HIE in the patient own local area. That HIE, known as the patient’s “data home,” automatically alerts the other HIE that they have records for the patient so it can generate a query to access those records.

After the patient gets treated, PCDH also allows for the “away” HIE to alert the patient’s home HIE that there are new records for their patient that the home HIE providers can access in order to better care for the patient on an ongoing basis, say SHIEC officials, making it possible for the patient’s comprehensive medical history to follow them wherever they seek treatment.

SHIEC's nationwide rollout of PCDH comes following three smaller regional implementations, where 17 HIEs collaborated on a proof-of-concept for such inter-HIE information sharing and notification. The HIEs worked together to create the technical ability for HIEs to automatically notify each other regarding the existence of a patient’s medical records and to synchronize the patient’s identity among the HIE systems.

With the successful completion of those trial implementations, and the creation of its national legal framework, SHIEC has connected the three regional networks into a nationwide network for securely sharing patient information when and where it is needed most to improve health and save lives.

Twitter: @MikeMiliardHITN
Email the writer: mike.miliard@himssmedia.com