Indiana HIE Announces Data Sharing Network Nearly Covers State

After large health systems joined the nonprofit HIE this year, the data sharing network now encompasses clinical data of 18 million patients.

Indiana Health Information Exchange (IHIE) has announced that its data sharing network is close to covering the entire state of Indiana, according to reporting from The Hamilton County Reporter.

Large health system contributors in the Fort Wayne area joined the nonprofit HIE this year, filling a data sharing gap in the northeast region of the state.

“The COVID pandemic certainly highlighted the need for a statewide health information exchange to support public health, and each new facility added is a step towards a consolidated and statewide data exchange in Indiana,” Drew Richardson, vice president of product and business development at IHIE, told The Hamilton Country Reporter.

“While the focus has been primarily on public health and COVID, we are seeing tremendous value in these new data sources for all participants including health systems, providers, payers, and labs,” Richardson continued.  

IHIE recently consolidated with the Michiana Health Information Network to fill previous data gaps in the north central and northeastern parts of the state. The consolidation has allowed IHIE to accrue clinical data to improve patient care coordination and support public and population health initiatives, the HIE noted.

IHIE’s clinical data repository, called the Indiana Network for Patient Care (INPC), now houses data for 38 health systems with nearly 19,000 practices, over 50,000 providers and more than 18 million patients. The network also includes more than 15 billion clinical and claims data elements.

John Kansky, president and CEO of IHIE, told EHRIntelligence in a September interview that the federal government proposed a national aggregated dashboard of HIE data after recognizing how HIE data exchange capabilities could support the COVID-19 response.

While this was theoretically possible, connecting all the HIEs nationwide would be a massive undertaking, Kansky said. IHIE and five other HIEs got together to show what could be done quickly.

For the benefit of ONC and the CDC, the organizations put together a six-state combined dashboard of pandemic data.

Kansky explained that this project highlighted the HIEs’ like-minded goals and capabilities, leading them to form the Consortium for State and Regional Interoperability (CSRI) to share best practices for serving patients through health information exchange.

The five other members of CSRI include Chesapeake Regional Information System for our Patients (CRISP), covering Maryland, District of Columbia, and West Virginia; Colorado Regional Health Information Organization (CORHIO); CyncHealth, spanning through Nebraska and Iowa; Health Current of Arizona; and Manifest MedEx of California.

During the pandemic, the CSRI members all faced different policy barriers to data sharing with their state governments. Kansky explained that the collaborative helped the HIEs to share best practices and ideas to meet COVID-19 case reporting needs.

“We were able to compare notes and figure out how we could navigate some of those challenges,” Kansky said. “I've always wanted to have a close-knit group of other CEOs facing some of the same challenges I was to bounce things off of.”

Kansky noted that the collaborative has also helped IHIE build on relationships with state agencies.

“One of the big things that's sort of a spectrum across the six organizations is how closely we work with different agencies in the state government,” he said. “We've certainly been able to learn from the experiences of others. For example, a few of our CSRI partners have been willing to participate on calls with Indiana state government officials to share some of the things that they're doing in other states.”

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