The Strengthening the Technical Advancement & Readiness of Public Health via Health Information Exchange Program (The STAR HIE Program) has made great strides in supporting public health agencies’ ability to exchange health information during times of emergency.
Funded through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) in 2020, the initial STAR HIE Program was expanded in 2021 to further support efforts to increase vaccination data sharing between jurisdictional Immunization Information Systems (IIS) and HIEs. Recipients explored innovative HIE services that could benefit public health agencies and improve support to communities disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Here are just a few accomplishments of various STAR HIE Program recipients to date:
Improving COVID Testing and Vaccination Information Availability
- COVID-19 notification solutions were deployed to deliver COVID-19 test result notifications and reports to providers, hospitals, and public health agencies.
- Nine recipients support increased vaccination uptake by providing bulk reports of patients’ vaccine status and additional demographic information to organizations. This helps provide accurate patient lists of non-vaccinated patients to providers and public health agencies to facilitate outreach to increase rates of vaccination.
Improving Public Health Immunization Interoperability
- Fifteen recipients¹ increased data sharing between HIEs and jurisdictional IIS.
- Fourteen recipients² signed new or modified agreements with public health agencies facilitating COVID-19 use cases, including easier access to lab reporting, case reporting, and/or immunization data.
Supporting Public Health Agencies and Providers by Reducing Reporting Burden
- Expanded appropriate sharing of COVID-19 data by enabling new connections between HIEs and both hospitals and correctional facilities. Combined with recipients connecting to IIS, providers and patients now have real-time access to COVID-19 immunization data in their medical record.
- Established new reporting tools to reduce physician and public health burden. These solutions allow providers to electronically report vaccination and COVID-19 lab results to their public health agency, eliminating either manual or cumbersome processes and improving data quality.
Improving Public Health Data Capabilities
- Successfully demonstrated the ability to use a standards-based approach for real-time reporting of hospital capacity data, leveraging the Situational Awareness for Novel Epidemic Response Implementation Guide (IG). This IG enables transmission of high-level situational awareness information from inpatient facilities to centralized data repositories to support the treatment of novel influenza-like illness. The STAR HIE project served as an important pilot to test a model that is expected to reduce burden for hospital facilities and improve public health readiness.
- Developed new, enriched data reports and visualization tools that allow the public and public health agencies to better respond to the pandemic.
The STAR HIE Program also supported a Health Equity Workgroup, which served as an opportunity for peer-to-peer learning in which recipients shared strategies such as data aggregation, implementation, partnership, and public health connections (including to IIS) to reach individuals and communities at a higher risk of being impacted by COVID-19.
Recipients continue their work in 2022 to build on these achievements, and although each is different, they are all focused on sustainability to ensure this valuable work continues in the communities they serve. We look forward to sharing more success stories from the STAR HIE Program throughout the year. In the interim, feel free to check out historical information about the STAR HIE Program as well as the STAR HIE Program session held during the 2022 ONC Annual Meeting.
¹ HealthShare Exchange of Southeastern Pennsylvania (HSX), Michigan Health Information Network (MIHIN), Kansas Health Information Network (KHIN) dba KONZA, Health Current (AZ), Indiana Health Information Exchange (IHIE), Bronx RHIO (NY), HEALTHeLINK (NY), Keystone Health Information Exchange (KeyHIE)(PA), West Virginia Health Information Network (WVHIN), Health Collaborative (OH), CyncHealth (NE), MyHealth Access (OK), HealthHIE Nevada, Los Angeles Network for Enhanced Strategies (LANES), and Rhode Island Quality Institute (RIQI).
² HealthShare Exchange of Southeastern Pennsylvania (HSX), Georgia Health Information Network (GaHIN), Health Current (AZ), Indiana Health Information Exchange (IHIE), Rio Grande Valley (TX), Greater Houston HealthConnect, Texas Health Services Authority (THSA), Keystone Health Information Exchange (KeyHIE) (PA), HEALTHeLINK (NY), Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers (NJ), Rhode Island Quality Institute (RIQI), MyHealth Access (OK), Cync Health (NE), and Los Angeles Network for Enhanced Services (LANES).
This article was originally published on the Health IT Buzz and is syndicated here with permission.