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Health Information Exchanges Form Consortium for Interoperability

A group of six major health information exchanges across the country have formed a consortium to increase interoperability and patient data exchange.

Six major health information exchanges (HIEs) have joined forces to form the Consortium for State and Regional Interoperability (CSRI), to enhance individual and population health through patient data exchange and interoperability.

The six state and regional HIEs consist of 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; Indiana Health Information Exchange (IHIE); and Manifest MedEx of California.

CSRI said it will to develop solutions that deliver patient data to health organizations that need this essential information.

“CSRI is well-positioned to leverage economies of scale on projects that have the potential to move the interoperability needle in a big way,” said Morgan Honea, CEO of CORHIO. “I am incredibly excited to be a part of this innovative group and look forward to developing and delivering HIT that can help solve significant data problems.”

The group intends to boost nationwide patient data exchange by:

  • Creating solutions that increase interoperability for providers, health plans, Medicaid programs, and public health departments
  • Progressing initiatives that promote patient data exchange across the country
  • Distributing healthcare insights for federal agencies to advise critical decisions, mitigate burden, and increase health IT innovation

CSRI noted its member HIEs are successful because of their robust health IT infrastructures, data expertise, and digital footprints. They all serve as health data utilities for the providers, health plans, Medicaid agencies, and public health departments in their respective areas.

A health data utility serves as a resource for clinical and non-clinical patient data. Healthcare stakeholders and states can utilize this data to improve healthcare across their communities.

Over the last several months, these six HIEs have increased their support to their local public health departments during COVID-19.

For example, the networks have supported coronavirus test ordering and scheduling with state and county clinics, identified high-risk patients using predictive analytics, and developed test results, mortality, and hospitalization dashboards. The HIEs have also supported contact tracing efforts and developed COVID-19 alerts and reports.

It is becoming more common for HIEs to connect with others to enhance interoperability. HIEs help providers work together toward a more seamless and secure patient data exchange process. Operating an HIE on a regional scale ultimately expands those benefits.

Two of the major HIEs, CORHIO and Health Current agreed to team up in October 2020 to not only develop an extensive HIE blanketing Colorado and Arizona, but also an entire health data utility.

CORHIO set to establish broader and deeper insights into health-related data, something that was pressing during the pandemic. Because HIEs can support this data, Honea, its CEO, knew the organization needed to grow to further support a regional population.

In order to develop a more regional model, Honea and his team began talks with leaders at Health Current.

“One of the first things that we did with Health Current is we sat down, and we said, let's see who we share,” Honea explained in an interview with EHRIntelligence. “What clients do we have in common? What types of services do we have in common? Where could we create better solutions for some of those folks who are operating more regionally or nationally, and how can we serve them better?”

As bordering states, Colorado’s CORHIO and Arizona’s Health Current are distinct regional partners. Honea quickly learned the HIEs share similar values, goals, and culture, while also operating in positive business and financial health.

Honea said the pandemic has underscored the need to figure out better ways to leverage the current HIE infrastructure to support areas such as public health, data reporting, and surveillance.

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