NeHC report highlights 12 leaders in the HIE space

By Molly Merrill
10:03 AM

The National eHealth Collaborative (NeHC) recognized 12 organizations as being leaders in the health information exchange space in a report that it released this week identifying what it took to be a successful HIE.

The report, “Secrects of HIE Success Revealed: Lessons from the Leaders,” profiled the following HIEs:

  1. Availity based in Jacksonville, Fla.
  2. Big Bend RHIO based in Tallahassee, Fla.
  3. HealthBridge based in Cincinnati
  4. HealthInfoNet based in Portland, Maine
  5. Inland Northwest Health Services based in Spokane, Wash.
  6. MedVirginia based in Richmond, Va.
  7. Quality Health Network based in Grand Junction, Colo.
  8. Rochester RHIO based in Rochester, N.Y.
  9. Sandlot based in Fort Worth, Tex.
  10. SMRTNET based in Oklahoma
  11. THINC based in Fishkill, N.Y.   
  12. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs based in Washington

“With a new environment of increasing accountability in healthcare, the need for effective, sustainable HIE to improve quality, care coordination, and cost-effectiveness is becoming even more important,” said Kate Berry, CEO of NeHC. “This report distills the critical dimensions required for a successful and lasting HIE operation and is intended to contribute to a cohesive national roadmap for nationwide HIE. We are pleased to showcase such distinguished organizations and we believe others will learn from the triumphs and challenges of these 12 HIEs.”

The NeHC report was developed based on candid and extensive interviews with senior executives from each of the 12 HIEs. These organizations were chosen to be profiled based on their innovative strategies and business models, the value and impact they are having in their respective communities, and their maturity in achieving sustainability, said officials.

The report identified HIEs critical success factors as:

  • Aligning stakeholders with HIE priorities in an intensive and ongoing effort
  • Establishing and maintaining a consistent brand identity and role as a trusted, neutral entity committed to protecting the interests of participants.
  • Recognizing that achieving and maintaining alignment requires making difficult strategic choices.
  • Determining structural characteristics and dynamics of the HIEs market, especially in the early stages of development
  • Putting value on their core competencies of understanding clinical workflows and managing change.

The report identified the following barriers to growth and sustainability:

  • Policies and procedures designed to meet complex privacy requirements tend to impede an HIE’s efforts to achieve the critical mass of patient records needed to accelerate adoption.
  • Gaps in interoperability standards and lack of rigorous adherence to existing standards are drains on HIE resources.

“This NeHC HIE project is timely and critical to several hundred new HIE efforts that are just now getting under way across the country,” said Mark Jones, COO and principal investigator of SMRTNET, a profiled HIE based in Oklahoma. “While every HIE project is unique, they all share the same problems of participation, value, security, growth and especially sustainability. Widespread distribution of the solutions and lessons learned from the real world success stories regarding these issues from the NeHC report could have a major impact in helping to assure the efficiency and success of these new efforts.”

HealthInfoNet, the nonprofit that built and manages the health information exchange (HIE) in Maine, has received an increasing amount of national attention and recognition since it went live with one of the first statewide health information exchanges in the country back in 2008.

“We are delighted to have been selected to participate in this project. Maine has always been an early adopter, innovator and supporter of health information technology, and we’re proud to be highlighted as a leader in NeHC’s report and to show our state’s progress in this area,” said HealthInfoNet Executive Director and CEO, Dev Culver.

To access the full report click here

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