HealthcareITNews – State and regional HIEs: ‘Don’t count us out just yet!’
Even as EHR vendor-driven networks gain maturity and scope, older and more traditional health information exchanges still have a lot of critical value to bring to the table, one expert says.
In an interview with Healthcare IT News, John Kansky, President and CEO of Indiana Health Information Exchange (IHIE), shares his opinion on why state and regional Health Information Exchange (HIE) organizations are a key part of national interoperability and explains how they can work with emergent vendor sponsored networks.
John explains, “There are some states and regions with very good, very strong, very valuable health information exchanges, and there are some regions that have none.” He added, “Some regions have an HIE that still struggles to kind of find its value proposition – and therein lies, I think, the problem when you look from a national perch.”
Michigan is one of the states that has a strong health information exchange. Great Lakes Health Connect has an established, sustainable business model that connect healthcare providers and organizations to the information they need to care for patients and reduce the cost of care overall.
John continues, “most of healthcare is local … if you are interoperable local, or interoperable in a region, you’re providing a heck of a lot more value than if you’re a tiny bit interoperable, nationally.”
Despite years of success, the national conversation about interoperability and the emerging vendor model of interoperability continues to overlook the success of health information exchanges.
John explains, “Vendor driven interoperability was designed to work across many markets, states, and regions.” John challenges vendors to be more adaptable when there is an HIE in the market, state, region that is successful – connecting the “last mile”, normalizing data, sustaining repositories, and is able to exchange data readily.
As a health information exchange, Great Lakes Health Connect will work with any EHR that our participants require. We have already interfaced with over 50+ vendors and continue to expand those relationships every year.
John concludes the interview by saying this about interoperability, “People just assume it’s simple. It’s not. We’re just grossly oversimplifying the solution for healthcare interoperability.”
In their HIMSS19 presentation, John and his colleague, Keith Kelley, IHI COO, will explore this history of HIEs and highlight the enduring value that they bring by working in concert with vendor driven interoperability.