Health Information Network of Arizona launches state HIE

By Molly Merrill
08:42 AM

The Health Information Network of Arizona (HINAz) and Axolotl Corp., now known as OptumInsight, have partnered to create a statewide health information exchange network in Arizona.

HINAz will implement the Axolotl HIE platform from OptumInsight to build the HIE infrastructure to enable the sharing and exchange of clinical data from all available sources across the state – improving access, quality and safety of health care while reducing and stabilizing costs.

“After extensive work, we are pleased to have selected OptumInsight as our technology partner," said K. Bharathan, Interim CEO, HINAz. "Health Information Exchange is a rapidly evolving concept. HINAz intends to be in the forefront of that evolution with carefully thought out, planned growth that places the community’s needs and priorities first. I am confident that OptumInsight will be a significant partner in helping us evolve with, and perhaps be ahead of, the rest of the nation in developing a statewide and comprehensive HIE."

HINAz is an Arizona not-for-profit that began through the work of Southern Arizona Health Information Exchange and Arizona Medical Information Exchange. The two entities joined together to build a more comprehensive HIE for Arizona

“At the center of HINAz is the intention of its members to enhance the quality of care for all Arizonans," said William F. Vanaskie, chairman of HINAz and COO of Maricopa Integrated Health System. "HINAz, and the launch of this statewide HIE, is the direct result of extensive collaboration among the health care community in Arizona and its many stakeholders. It is through this multi-year effort of intense coordination and planning among the many diverse participants that we were able to identify this solution that will ultimately reduce duplication, reduce costs and delays, lead to better continuity of care, better decisions about care, greater safety, and meet the original goal we set out to achieve – better care for all of Arizona."

The HINAz HIE will enable authorized healthcare providers to automatically access complete clinical information about their patient to determine what medications are prescribed, what X-rays or other tests have been ordered, known allergies, conditions and more. Physicians can view this information quickly and easily in the Axolotl Virtual Health Record (VHR), reducing medication errors, duplication of tests and improving the quality of care.

Physicians not already using EHRs can quickly connect to the state HIE using any certified EHR, Axolotl EMR Lite or Axolotl EHR.

“I congratulate the stakeholders of HINAz on their vision, courage and tenacity to persevere and achieve this milestone. OptumInsight looks forward to completing deployment of the full suite of Axolotl HIE solutions, providing a secure exchange so that any authorized health care provider can access and electronically exchange and share their patient health information,” said Glenn Keet, president of Axolotl, now OptumInsight. “Interoperability between healthcare systems will greatly improve the quality and coordination of care for the residents of Arizona.”

Initially, HINAz's main function will be to provide information to emergency departments and urgent care centers so providers can quickly access patients’ clinical information and provide more educated and timely services. As the use of EHRs increases among clinicians, and trust in the safety and security of HINAz increases over time, the goal is to be able – with patient consent – to perform additional functions that further the promotion of safe and high quality care.