Getty Images

PA Health Information Exchange Expands Patient Data Sharing Network

A healthcare organization of over 80 providers has joined a health information exchange serving the Philadelphia area for enhanced data sharing.

HealthShare Exchange (HSX), a non-profit health information exchange (HIE) for the Greater Philadelphia area, has expanded its data sharing network with the addition of healthcare organization ProVantaCare.

ProVantaCare is a network of more than 80 health and human service providers. As a contracting entity, the healthcare organization provides streamlined contracting, network access, and data management services to its provider-owners.

As a member of HSX, ProVantaCare said it will have greater access to patient health data, which is expected to boost care coordination and ultimately improve population health outcomes and decrease costs.

"Access to physical health data will give our community-based provider network the ability to deliver better whole person care and the ability to intervene with improved visibility for better quality care," Fady Sahhar, president and chief executive officer of ProVantaCare, said in a press release. "This partnership delivers on our commitment of expanding access and enhancing outcomes."

HSX is a nonprofit, member-driven collaboration of 500 contracted healthcare stakeholders in the Greater Philadelphia area. The HIE securely delivers electronic patient health information for more than 13 million patients throughout the region.

"HealthShare Exchange's mission is to provide secure access to health information to enable preventive and cost-efficient care, improve quality of patient care, and facilitate care transitions," Martin Lupinetti, president and chief executive officer at HealthShare Exchange, stated publicly. "We are excited to welcome ProVantaCare to the HSX network."

Statewide and regional HIEs like HSX should make national interoperability more attainable, as they help break down the challenge into smaller, more manageable pieces.

According to a study published in Health Affairs, most state and local HIEs are supporting a vast number of services and are developing connections to each other and national networks in preparation for the Trusted Exchange Framework and Common Agreement (TEFCA).

Drafted by the ONC to fulfill the aims of the 21st Century Cures Act, TEFCA is a set of policies and standards to support the development of the Common Agreement. Ultimately, this should help support nationwide electronic patient data exchange across HINs.

HIEs are helping circumvent financial issues tied to patient data sharing, ultimately fulfilling the goals of TEFCA. Additionally, HIEs that can offer increased services will be in a stronger position to compete with national networks under TEFCA, the study authors wrote.

In 2019, the study authors conducted an HIE survey across the country to dissect the current state of HIEs and examine TEFCA-based responses.

Survey respondents revealed 89 active local and statewide HIEs, 17 fewer than a similar survey from 2014 identified. The 2019 survey also revealed that 45 states, including Washington DC, leveraged at least one HIE, and 32 percent of health service areas in the country had more than one HIE.

Fifty-seven percent of HIEs connect to other HIEs in the same state and 53 percent to other states. Sixty-seven percent leverage eHealth Exchange, 46 percent connect to DirectTrust, and 38 percent leverage SHIEC Patient Centered Data Home (PCDH).

Ninety percent of HIEs exchanged medications, 87 percent exchanged problems, 84 percent exchanged laboratory results, and 83 percent exchanged immunizations.

Next Steps

Dig Deeper on Interoperability in healthcare

Cloud Computing
Mobile Computing