HIE data sharing starting to ramp up

While many providers are still struggling to adopt electronic health records, a growing number of them slowly but surely are moving beyond initial implementation and beginning to share data by using their state and local health information exchanges.

For instance, Wesley Medical Center and Via Christi Health--Kansas' two largest health systems--recently demonstrated their interoperability by sharing data via Wichita HIE, an affiliate of the Kansas Health Information Network, according to a recent announcement. The network is a private HIE created by the Kansas Medical Society and the Kansas Hospital Association. 

Not to be outdone, Family Physicians of Urbana (Ohio) and Reading Family Medicine in Cincinnati have successfully tested the electronic transmission of immunization data to the Ohio Department of Health (ODH), using Cincinnati-based HIE HealthBridge and one of its affiliate HIEs, the Greater Dayton Area Health Information Network.

"Capturing an accurate picture of a child's immunization status has been a priority of the ODH's ImpactSIIS [the immunization registry] since its inception," Ted Wymyslo, Director of the ODH, said in a statement. "To do so, we need our state information technology system to communicate with provider electronic health records. This pilot is an effort to advance public health through the expanded use of health information technology."

Many HIEs are making an impact and implementing interoperable systems, which will be a major component of Stage 2 of Meaningful Use. However, not all HIEs are achieving as much success as others, and a few, particularly the public HIEs, are throwing in the towel. Tennessee's state HIE, for instance, disbanded this summer.

To learn more:
- read HealthBridge's announcement
- here's the announcement about Kansas