HIEs in Nebraska, Nevada and Utah Connect to Exchange Data

The Health Information Exchanges (HIE) in Nebraska, Nevada and Utah have connected to exchange admission, discharge and transfer (ADT) notifications for patients living in one of the states but seeking care in one of the other states. The connections between the Nebraska Health Information Initiative (@NeHIIorg), HealtHIE Nevada (@HealtHIENevada), and UHIN (@UHIN_HIE), the state-designated HIE in Utah, are the latest step in implementing a Patient Centered Data Home™ (PCDH) solution, increasing care coordination by ensuring vital health records follow the patient regardless of where treatment occurs.

When a patient living in one of the three states has a medical encounter in one of the other states, an alert is sent to the patient’s home state HIE. Primary care physicians participating in that HIE then receive an ADT notification, and can query their system for the patient’s record. That initial query from HIE to HIE is based on the patient’s zip code.

About the new connections, Deb Bass, Chief Executive Officer of NeHII said, “We are thrilled to join with UHIN and HealtHIE Nevada in implementing the Patient Centered Data Home solution so that we can assure Nebraskans their medical records will follow them when traveling to Utah to ski or enjoying a fun-filled weekend in Nevada. This is the first exciting step in connecting with other HIEs across the country to support nationwide exchange of health records.”

Although tourism is a significant reason patients seek care in a different state, there are myriad factors impacting the decision, including geography, family / cultural connections, and specialty needs.

“Utah has patients from all over the country coming to our local hospitals for specific treatment. For example the University of Utah Burn Center and the Huntsman Cancer Institute serve a vital role for specific populations regardless of where the person lives,” said Teresa Rivera, President and CEO of UHIN. “These cross-border connections allow primary care physicians to better coordinate care across the care continuum.”

The connections between the three HIEs are the latest in an ongoing expansion of PCDH. UHIN has been connected to the HIEs in Arizona and western Colorado for more than a year. Because of these existing connections, information for Nebraskans and Nevadans experiencing care in those states will also have their health records exchanged.

“HealtHIE Nevada is proud to be part of this exciting collaborative that will allow clinicians from throughout the participating region to access patient data in a timely manner. This collaborative brings to reality exactly what health information exchanges were designed to do – provide clinicians with relevant information about the patient’s clinical history,” added Leslie Johnstone, Vice President of Operations, Nevada at HealthInsight.

Funding for this expansion was made possible by a supplemental grant awarded to UHIN in 2016 from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC). The nearly $625,000 award is supplemental to a $2.6 million ONC interoperability grant UHIN received in 2015. Additional connections with other HIEs in the West are currently under way.

The Patient Centered Data Home is an initiative of the Strategic Health Information Exchange Collaborative (SHIEC) to exchange ADTs across state lines. Since its inception over one year ago, more than 31,000 alerts have been sent across state lines on patients living in one of the states and seeking medical care in another. SHIEC is the national trade association of HIEs. Its more than 50 member organizations manage and provide for the secure exchange of health data for hospitals, healthcare providers and other participants serving more than half of the U.S. patient population.

About UHIN:
UHIN is a nonprofit coalition of healthcare providers, payers, state government and other stakeholders that have come together to reduce healthcare costs and improve quality and access for the community by enabling providers, payers and patients to exchange information electronically. UHIN focuses on creating electronic exchange solutions that work for the entire healthcare community, from single-provider practices to large integrated healthcare systems.

About Nebraska Health Information Initiative:
As an early adopter and national leader for Health Information Exchange, NeHII, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization has functioned as a public-private collaborative that currently connects more than 3 million lives and 65 percent of hospital beds in Nebraska. NeHII’s vision is to be a leader in the secure exchange of health information, enabling a healthier Nebraska.

About HealtHIE Nevada:
HealtHIE Nevada is a private, nonprofit, community-based HIE dedicated to connecting healthcare organizations by managing real time, secure, and accurate exchange of clinical information. HealtHIE Nevada operates throughout the entire state, and is the only HIE open and available to the entire Nevada healthcare community. HealtHIE Nevada is managed under contract by HealthInsight Nevada, a recognized leader in quality improvement; transparency and public reporting; health information technology programs; healthcare system delivery and payment reform efforts; and human factors science research and application.

About SHIEC:
SHIEC is the national trade association of health information exchanges (HIEs) and strategic business and technology partners. Its over 50-member HIE organizations manage and provide for the secure digital exchange of health data for hospitals, healthcare providers and other participants serving more than half of the U.S. patient population. As the unbiased data trustees in their communities, SHIEC member organizations are critical to advancing effective, efficient healthcare delivery locally, regionally and nationally to improve health.