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HIE Promotes Accreditation, Workforce Development for Interoperability

An HIE is advancing interoperability two-fold by promoting accreditation and investing in the future health IT workforce with referral funds.

Michigan Health Information Network Shared Services (MiHIN), a nonprofit HIE, and Velatura Public Benefit Corporation announced that for every referral it makes to Trusted Dynamic Registration & Authentication Accreditation Program (TDRAAP), a portion of proceeds will go towards health IT workforce development at the Interoperability Institute (IOI).

TDRAAP, launched by the Electronic Healthcare Network Accreditation Commission (EHNAC) in partnership with UDAP.org, allows healthcare stakeholders to demonstrate their use of secure digital certificates for endpoint identity, registration, and authentication purposes. The accreditation also indicates stakeholder abilites to attribute discovery or validation for electronic healthcare transactions in real-time.

“As health information sharing and interoperability expand nationally, the demand for a highly-qualified health information technology workforce is going to increase dramatically,” Tim Pletcher, DHA, president and CEO of Velatura, said in a press release.

“Interoperability Institute's goal is to address the talent gap in information technology and healthcare to ensure the supply of talent meets the industry’s current and emerging needs,” he continued. “We’re thrilled to be able to support their program and provide early career opportunities towards building the industry talent pipeline.”

This announcement comes after MiHIN, Velatura, and EHNAC announced a referral agreement last month to bring TDRAAP to health plans, health information exchanges (HIE), and providers nationwide.

Now, with a portion of the proceeds for every TDRAAP referral made by MiHIN and Velatura going towards the IOI’s workforce program, the entities aim to improve interoperability in the present while also investing in future health IT innovators to promote interoperability down the line.

The institute aims to provide the necessary products, services, workforce, and leadership to enable organizations to advance interoperability across the healthcare continuum. Greater interoperability may increase care coordination and allow for more efficient health data exchange ecosystems to inform public health initiatives.

“Interoperability Institute is incredibly grateful to Velatura for their generous donation and steadfast commitment to improve interoperability at a national scale,” said Mary Kratz, executive vice president of the Interoperability Institute.

“Our academic partners are committed to enabling career pathways with the Interoperability Institute to collectively transform healthcare through advancing interoperability,” Kratz continued.

Last month, MiHIN was one of 20 HIEs across the country to receive ONC STAR HIE Program Cooperative Agreements through funding from the CARES Act which went into effect in March 2020.

 “We are thrilled to be recipients of ONC STAR HIE Program,” Tim Pletcher, DHA, executive director of MiHIN, said in an emailed statement at the time of the announcement.

“MiHIN is doing important work throughout Michigan and this funding will allow us to make an even more meaningful impact both in metro Detroit and throughout the state by supporting the exchange of health information, making valuable data available at the point of care, and getting more people immunized,” Pletcher continued.

MiHIN will leverage the ONC funding to track vaccination progress, assist clinicians in tracking high-risk patients, identify patients who need their second dose of the vaccine, and provide analytics for vaccine outcomes.

For instance, the ability to connect a patient who has received the vaccine with their clinical data could offer comprehensive insights into any adverse events and long-term health outcomes.

“Since last March, MiHIN has been invaluable to Detroit's COVID-19 response, thanks to its collection, management, and sharing of the data we need to effectively operate our regional testing site, which has been cited as being one of the best-run sites in the nation,” said Mayor of Detroit, Mike Duggan, at the time of the funding announcement.

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