MetroChicago HIE will be the nation's largest

The Metropolitan Chicago Healthcare Council (MCHC) has announced plans to develop what it says will be the largest health information exchange (HIE) in a U.S. metropolitan area. The MetroChicago Health Information Exchange, which will serve 9.4 million people, already has support from 66 hospitals and outpatient organizations in the Chicago area. These organizations, rather than government grants, are expected to fund the HIE.

MCHC's technology partners will include Microsoft, CSC, and HealthUnity. Microsoft Amalga, an "enterprise health intelligence platform," will present a unified view of patient data in the diverse information systems where they're stored. Software components from HealthUnity will supplement Amalga to provide additional HIE services, including the ability to exchange clinical summaries known as Continuity of Care Documents, or CCDs. CSC, a worldwide consulting and research firm, will provide project management, hosting and technical support.

CSC previously has worked with the Massachusetts eHealth Collaborative to create one of the nation's first functioning HIEs in three communities in Massachusetts. Microsoft Amalga currently is being used by the Wisconsin Health Information Exchange.

The MetroChicago HIE will initially concentrate on "use cases" that are aligned with meaningful use. Clinical summaries containing diagnoses, medications and test results from multiple providers will be provided to emergency departments in one of the first use cases. In addition, public health authorities will have access to this information so they can monitor the emergence of new viral patterns or epidemics in the Chicago region.

To learn more:
- read the MCHC press release 

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