Illinois to roll out HIE platform

By Bernie Monegain
10:34 AM

The Illinois Health Information Exchange will spend $7.5 million for a technology platform for the exchange. Officials recently announced a contract with Cambridge, Mass.-based InterSystems for implementation of InterSystems HealthShare.

"Building our electronic health information exchange is a major step in transforming healthcare and helping patients," said Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn. "Statewide access to electronic records means that vital patient information will be instantly available to doctors and hospitals when it is needed most, improving healthcare delivery and saving lives."

Development of the Illinois HIE is funded through a federal grant program established to enable states to assist healthcare providers and hospitals with the exchange of electronic health records. Illinois received $18.8 million over four years to develop this capacity, and the first phase of exchange services is expected to be available statewide in April 2012.

Exchange to serve 13 million people
The statewide HIE network will provide seamless clinical information flow to more than 50,000 healthcare providers, payers and state agencies. It is expected to serve a patient population of 13 million individuals, according to Laura Zaremba, director of the Illinois Office of Health Information Technology.

InterSystems HealthShare provides the scalability needed to support Illinois' large patient population and a rich feature set that goes beyond basic HIE and interoperability requirements, InterSystems executives say. It provides a unified strategic informatics platform designed to fulfill the requirements of regional health information exchanges and IDNs both now and in the future.

Intersystems executives further note that InterSystems has a track record of success with highly complex connected health technology initiatives. Sweden, for example, is using HealthShare to create a National Patient Summary record for every Swedish resident. This record is a longitudinal, comprehensive summary of a patient's medical history available to clinicians across Sweden. And, HealthShare is the platform of choice the entire state of Rhode Island and for three regional health information organizations in New York.

"InterSystems is committed to working in tandem with the Illinois Office of Health Information Technology to deliver the most efficient, rapid, secure exchange of patient information possible," said Dominick Bizzarro, InterSystems HealthShare business manager.