The Louisiana Health Care Quality Forum has officially launched the Louisiana Health Information Exchange (LaHIE). The exchange, which uses Orion Health as its primary technology vendor, is currently being piloted in the state's Acadiana region.
Earlier this year, the federal government approved Louisiana's HIE plan. The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT gave a $10.5 million grant to the Louisiana Health Quality Forum to establish the exchange.
When Orion was chosen as LaHIE's technology vendor, Cindy Munn, the Quality Forum's executive director, noted that the initial focus of the project would be to develop secure point-to-point messaging to help providers access critical health information and to achieve Meaningful Use quickly.
In the long run, the Louisiana Health Information Exchange (LaHIE) is expected to "improve timely access to patient information, improve patient safety, increase security of records, increase consumer engagement, more adequately measure and improve public health benchmarks and reduce health care costs," the announcement said.
Neither announcement mentions the Louisiana Rural Health Information Exchange (LARHIX), which achieved national prominence in 2008 when it began linking 24 rural hospitals to each other and to the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in Shreveport.
Combining an innovative peer-to-peer HIE with mobile telemedicine equipment, LARHIX enables LSU specialists to treat patients in rural areas remotely. Carefx, now part of the Harris Corp., provided the HIE platform in conjunction with CA, IBM and Initiate Systems.