HealthBridge tech exportation lays groundwork for ACO infrastructure

HealthBridge, a successful health information exchange in Cincinnati, has been exporting its core technology to other HIEs for several years. Now HealthBridge has expanded its offering to include analytics and business intelligence tools built for care coordination and population health management.

The first customer for HealthBridge's new package is Quality Health Network, a Western Colorado quality improvement organization and HIE that already is using HealthBridge's data exchange platform. Both HIEs are part of Beacon Communities that have received grants from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT.

Among the health IT tools provided by HealthBridge, according to a HealthBridge announcement, are:

  • Identity management, data mapping, data normalization and data storage technologies designed for large data sets
  • Analytics engines to help physicians and administrators identify gaps in care
  • Business intelligence software to manage clinical resources, assess risk, measure quality and predict health system utilization
  • Reporting tools that allow care teams and decision makers to slice and dice their data and comply with multiple reporting requirements.

While the HealthBridge announcement does not mention accountable care organizations, it's clear that HealthBridge and Quality Health Network are creating the infrastructure that ACOs will require to manage population health.

The Indiana Health Information Exchange (IHIE), another veteran exchange, recently made a similar move when it partnered with AT&T Healthcare Community Online (HCO). Both IHIE and HCO offer components of an ACO infrastructure, and HCO will help IHIE scale up its current efforts and expand them to 60 more healthcare systems.

IHIE and AT&T said they planned to offer their combined capabilities nationwide. In addition, IHIE is launching a professional services organization to serve regional and state HIEs and healthcare systems across the country.

HealtheLink, another HIE that received a Beacon Community grant, also has broadened its functions by launching a diabetes telemonitoring program, according to Healthcare informatics. Early indications are that the program is a success.

What's more, the Rochester RHIO, an early proponent of clinical integration, continues to expand its functions and work with area healthcare organizations to improve their care coordination capabilities.

Many community and regional HIEs are still encountering difficulties in finding a business model. All of this activity, however, suggests that one may be on the horizon.

To learn more:
- read the HealthBridge announcement
- see the Indiana HIE announcement
- check out the Healthcare Informatics article on HealtheLink
- visit the Rochester RHIO website

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