Sharing at the 4th Annual SHIEC Conference

National Progress on Interoperability and Health Information Exchange was the overall theme of the Strategic Health Information Exchange Collaborative’s 4th annual conference in Atlanta last week. If you are still on the fence if we can get this all done, then you haven’t been hanging around the SHIEC community. Unlike these bigger conferences where it is not who knows what but who spent the most money, the energy in this group is focused and collaborative. So I guess their name is a good one.

Without even digging too deeply, there are obvious positive observations I took away from the day I spent at the conference. First, after 35 years in the health IT business it is so refreshing to see so many women in top positions both in the HIE organizations and the vendor community. SHIEC itself has a woman at the helm, Kelly Thompson. HIEs from Louisiana, Utah, Alaska, Arizona, Rhode Island, Georgia, East Tennessee, and not to forget the Sequoia Project all have women leaders and were participating at the conference. Next is the group really can see a vision and a path forward. No one is stuck in the past, no one is using energy to “slow things down” or lobby to change federal initiatives. They want to do more not less to offer their communities the services they are asking for. And the vendor business partners are shaking out to be the ones that will collaborate and the ones that are innovative to solve the challenges of today’s HIE organizations.

I was able to catch up with three of the HIE Organizations for some updates. Here are my conversations.

Daniel Chavez, Executive Director of San Diego Health Connect gives an update on the San Diego HIE. It started as an original Beacon Community Grant. One of the largest veterans and department of defense communities in the country. Now working on individual provider participation after securing the majority of hospitals, qualified health centers, counties, and insurers in their community.

Executive Director Laura Young of healtheConnect Alaska gives updates on recent over hauling of the Alaska HIE. They have an entirely new staff to start anew and listening to the participants to provide more value that they need. Lesson learned – If you build it, that doesn’t mean they will come.

John Kansky, CEO & President of the Indiana HIE (IHIE) gives update on the organization and how using a pilot program lead them to a vendor partner that has helped unlock the potential of their data. And the importance of belonging to an organization like SHIEC.

Like all of our conference audios interviews for HealthcareNOW Radio, you can hear them throughout the day on the live streaming or listen on demand on our SoundCloud channel. Check out all the Sharing at SHIEC interviews.