Kansas Health Information Network Launches Direct Capabilities

KHIN Launches Direct Capabilities with over 2,000 Users

Kansas Health Information Network (KHIN) announced that it has launched Direct messaging capabilities for providers in the state of Kansas through Health Information Service Protocol (HISP) transactions. Provider-to-provider Direct messaging became available on June 30, 2012. In addition to the current live health information exchange (HIE), 1,442 physicians, with a total of 2,000 participants that include ancillary clinicians, now have the capability to exchange information using the Direct protocols across the state.  The implementation allows approved providers to query patient data at the point-of-care to improve patient safety and reduce duplicative procedures.

Kansas providers can now begin participating in health information exchange utilizing the Direct protocols if they have a computer and an internet connection. The KHIN Provider Portal complements Direct messaging and allows providers to not only message to other providers, but to also view the patient data in the exchange.

KHIN is a statewide HIE initiative that includes both densely populated urban, as well as rural areas in Kansas. The HIE serves all of Kansas including 132 hospitals and over 4,500 physicians. Foundational members include the Kansas Medical Society, the Kansas Hospital Association, and the Wichita Health Information Exchange. This effort is one of the largest in the U.S covering 82,000 square miles and approximately 3,000,000 patients. KHIN believes this HIE technology will have community-wide benefits for improving care and getting costs under control.

KHIN took a very careful and rational approach to developing this HIE. The project started with a small working group of physicians and other providers. The success of this group led to aggressive provider recruitment, and word began to spread. KHIN now has over 1,400 physicians with a total of 2,000 users participating in its statewide HIE. It is possible that KHIN will become the standard by which other states measure success in HIE.

John Smith is Director of Communications at ICA. ICA provided the tools KHIN needed to meet the Direct interoperability standards that providers and the state have requested. This blog post was first published on ICA’s HITme Blog. John has over 20 years of experience in healthcare communications with a focus on health information technology, having served as Senior Vice President and Healthcare Practice Leader at several communications firms, including Fleishmann Hillard, Manning Selvage and Lee and Brodeur Worldwide.