Cerner, a leading hospital information systems vendor, is in final negotiations to provide technology to the Missouri Health Connection (MHC), a state-sponsored health information exchange. While some HIE vendors are involved in state-backed, federally funded HIEs, Cerner may be the first HIS company in this space. It's not surprising, however, since Cerner has been building HIEs since its famous experiment in Winona, Minn., began nearly a decade ago.
Initially, MHC plans to take advantage of the recently released Direct Project protocol for secure clinical messaging. In the first phase, the HIE will enable providers to push information to other providers, whether or not they have an electronic health record. The second phase, which will require providers to have EHRs, will involve data queries as well as the transmittal of information.
Cerner will serve as the "health information service provider" for the Direct messaging, and MHC will be the certificate authority. MHC hopes to have all this underway by January, according to Healthcare IT News.
MHC has received $13.8 million in federal funds, but that won't be sufficient to sustain it in the long run. The HIE plans to charge a fee to participating providers for use of its services.
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