16 HIOs to collaborate on more robust exchange

Sixteen health information organizations (HIOs) in Great Plains and Rocky Mountain states are teaming up to address the toughest issues limiting data sharing from a highly mobile populace.

Their goal is to ensure that patients' information follows them, no matter where they go, according to an announcement. Though some of the organizations share data through DIRECT technology and query-based exchange, differing state laws, patient consent policies and approaches to sharing protected health information still present barriers to letting patient records follow them as they travel.

The consortium wants to be able share clinical data across state lines in a highly secure, connected system. It plans to advocate for more robust exchange, such as query-based HIE, and to address the unique needs of rural areas.

Members will be addressing issues such as data use agreements and outline permissible secondary data use.

The members of the Mid-States Consortium of Health Information Organizations are:

  • Colorado Regional Health Information Organization
  • Community Health Information Collaborative (Minnesota)
  • Coordinated Care Oklahoma
  • Health Information Network Of Arizona
  • HealthShare, Montana
  • Idaho Health Data Exchange
  • Iowa Health Information Network
  • Kansas Health Information Network
  • Missouri Health Connection
  • MyHealth Access Network (Oklahoma)
  • Nebraska Health Information Initiative
  • North Dakota Health Information Network
  • Quality Health Network (Colorado)
  • South Dakota Health Link at DOH
  • Southeast Texas Health System
  • SMRTNET (Oklahoma)

The Community Service Council of Tulsa, Okla., is not an HIO, but has joined as a supporting organization. The group also is accepting additional members.

In yet another study showing the costs of duplicate treatment, an analysis of data in the databases of HEALTHeLINK, an HIE in Western New York, found approximately $1.3 million could have been saved from 2,763 potentially duplicate CT scans.

Health records need to follow patients, even to jail, according to a recent article at Perspectives in Health Information Management. Emergency rooms outside, too, need records of the care prisoners receive inside.

And flight crews transferring patients between hospitals need access to patient records, too. Researchers from Case Western Reserve University's nursing school are working to iron out the interoperability problems between the hospital, the flight crew and the new facility.

To learn more:
- here's the announcement