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USQHIN Launches ADT Network to Advance Interoperability Goals

The ADT network will combine health IT vendors, health information exchanges, health systems, payers, and government agencies to advance interoperability goals and public health use cases.

The United States QHIN (USQHIN) has launched the National ADT Hub Network (NAHN) to advance public health use cases and federal interoperability goals.

NAHN is a national network designed to enhance admission, discharge, and transfer (ADT) message quality and volume that is available to stakeholders in support of a more rationalized and scalable infrastructure, the organization said.

USQHIN aims to collaborate with health IT vendors, health information exchanges, health systems, payers, and government agencies to form the network.

By May 2021, providers will have to fulfill a CMS condition of participation that will require all hospitals to send outbound event notifications.

All health facilities must send direct electronic notifications to a patient’s provider once the patient is admitted, discharged, or transferred from another facility. ADT alerts aim to reduce readmissions, improve provider-to-provider communication, boost post-discharge transitions, and support patients with multiple conditions.

NAHN participants, also known as “gateway partners,” are expected to provide data into the network and participate in a future revenue sharing program.

“Each of the collaborating Gateway Partner organizations plays an important role in making ADT data actionable for those they serve across the country at local and regional levels,” Doug Dietzman, executive vice president of USQHIN said in a statement.

“But no single entity has all the ADTs in the country to meet the needs of federal public health agencies or other large national entities. By working together, the NAHN promises an end result that is greater than the sum of the parts,” Dietzman continued.

Ultimately, NAHN aims to:

  • Provide a rapid, real-time COVID-19 response
  • Enhance and connect local HIE, state, and health plan activities
  • Value diverse state, county, and community jurisdictional needs
  • Support CMS conditions of participation requirements

COVID-19 shined a light on the need for real-time ADT access. USQHIN said NAHN will address this current interoperability gap and address public health challenges, such as the coronavirus pandemic.

Improving interoperability and health IT infrastructure is a significant factor in the success of containing the virus. Containment also hinges on learning valuable information regarding testing, contact tracing, and detecting outbreaks. Improving the infrastructure is crucial to supporting patient data exchange. However, the infrastructure does not currently exist.

USQHIN said it has several vendors and HIEs signed on as gateway partners to develop the initial demonstration project. NAHN will meet regularly and the group expects to showcase the national demonstration project in late 2021.

As noted, with the CMS interoperability rule compliance dates set to drop in May, organizations that promote interoperability are trying to help their clients comply with the upcoming mandate.

Recently, DirectTrust launched its Implementation Guide for Event Notifications via the Direct Standard, a Draft Standard for Trial Use (DSTU), to address the ADT notifications.

“The Event Notifications via Direct Implementation Guide is the shortest path to compliance with the CMS ADT Notifications Conditions of Participation, as it leverages existing Standards and implemented technologies,” said Therasa Bell, chair of the DirectTrust IG for Notifications Consensus Body.

The implementation guide will provide further context, such as message type and patient data, for providers in all direct secure messages. It intends to allow providers to handle the message properly once it is received.

Direct secure messaging provides a basic exchange or push messaging system without the need for an EHR or health IT infrastructure other than an internet connection.

The nonprofit network said the guide extends and strengthens context standards and allows the recipient to determine the message’s contents to potentially reroute the message to the appropriate care team member.

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