eHI Releases Updated Health Information Exchange Toolkit

June 27, 2011, Washington, D.C. - The eHealth Initiative today released the second phase of the third generation of its Health Information Exchange (HIE) Toolkit, an online resource to empower health care leaders managing the challenges associated with developing, adopting, operating, and sustaining a health information exchange.

Phase II of the new eHI Toolkit is now online and available to the public. This "primer" addresses the next steps needed for starting an HIE - creating a sustainable model, technical aspects of connectivity, marketing and promoting of HIEs, enhancing services, and tracking progress. Links to sample sustainability documents and marketing materials are included. Phase I was published in April; it addressed creating a governance model, drafting legal and information sharing agreements, protecting patient privacy and more. The toolkit is available at

"Phase II of the toolkit includes essential elements for successful health information exchange," said Jennifer Covich Bordenick, Chief Executive Officer of eHI. "Sustainability is an elusive concept; therefore HIEs needs to choose the right technical platform and appropriately market themselves to attain to be sustainable. Phase II offers best practices on how HIEs can meet the demanding needs of the future."

Content for the Toolkit was developed through a collaborative process with the Connecting Communities Steering Committee, as well as interviews with leaders in the HIE field. Health information organizations across the country were consulted about the topics covered in this toolkit.

"The eHealth Initiative has a long history of providing valuable resources for those entities establishing an HIE", said Glenn Keet, President of Axolotl Corp (now OptumInsight). "This is easily the best and most comprehensive HIE Toolkit they have ever released, and I am proud of the part Axolotl played to help make it happen."

Since its inception in 2001, the eHealth Initiative has been a leading provider of resources to HIE initiatives around the country, and publishes the only comprehensive annual survey on the state of health information exchange. The survey was first distributed in 2004; last year a record 199 HIEs completed the survey.

The first HIE Toolkit, published in 2006, presented lessons learned from 12 HIEs. The second HIE Toolkit, published in 2008, incorporated best practices from 42 HIEs. The 2008 version was also built upon the vision of the eHealth Initiative Blueprint: From Consensus to Common Action, which provided principles, strategies and actions for improving health and health care through health IT and HIE.

The Toolkit is an evolving resource that will be modified by the continuing input of national, state and local leaders. Development of the HIE Toolkit was made possible through the generous support of Axolotl , now OptumInsight. Axolotl has been supporting HIE for over 16 years - and now powers 7 states and 21 Regional Health Information Organizations (RHIOs).

About the eHealth Initiative:
The eHealth Initiative (eHI) is a Washington D.C.-based, independent, non-profit organization whose mission is to drive improvements in the quality, safety, and efficiency of healthcare through information and information technology. Working with its 210 member organizations, eHI works to create a world where consumers, health care providers, and those responsible for population health will have ready access to timely, relevant, reliable and secure information and services through an interconnected, electronic health information infrastructure to support better health and healthcare.

About Axolotl Corp:
Axolotl, now OptumInsight, part of Optum - a leading health services business has been providing products and services for secure health information exchange and management since 1995. Powering HIE for thousands of health care entities - including hospitals, health systems, regional health information organizations (RHIOs/HIEs), ACOs, clinics, laboratories, radiology centers and physician practices-they are reducing health care costs, eliminating redundancy and improving quality and efficiency. Axolotl's SOA platform, community-wide Master Patient Index, EdgeServer(s), Interoperability HubTM (I-HUB), Community Virtual Health Record (VHR), and EHR solutions are all provided as software as a service (SaaS). For more information visit and follow us on Twitter at