Real-time HIE updates help Rhode Island providers with care decisions

Rhode Island's HIE uses a real-time dashboard to integrate patient information throughout the state.

Real-time alerts sent to Rhode Island providers through the state’s robust health information exchange (HIE) has provided clinicians with immediate feedback to improve patient care decisions. 

By pulling together more than 400 health providers across the state—including competing hospitals, ambulatory clinics, labs, and an e-prescribing platform—Rhode Island’s HIE, known as CurrentCare, allows clinicians to view near real-time data through an integrated dashboard, according to Healthcare IT News, a HIMSS publication.  

Access to real-time data allows providers to quickly comb through useful information pertaining to ED visits, test results, and discharge instructions for each patient, according to Elaine Fontaine, director of data quality and analytics at the Rhode Island Quality Institute, which took over maintenance of CurrentCare in 2010. The new dashboard has replaced the onerous process of tracking down patient records in paper form.

"We have added to that a simple calculation that folks had been trying to pull together manually from all of the faxes and pieces of paper, which is the number of times the patient has been to the ED or the inpatient setting in the past six months,” she told Healthcare IT News. “And this data is updated every 45 minutes.”

RELATED: How New York RHIO tackles patient matching

Fontaine, who is scheduled to speak at the HIMSS17 conference in February, credited the HIE’s initial approach to data collection and governance, which prioritized data integrity and centralized collection and storage.

Although the number of public HIEs has declined over the last several years, prompting hospitals to invest in privately run exchanges, more states are taking advantage of a federal program that covers 90% of administrative costs for HIE activities. Other states, like South Carolina and Arkansas, are bolstering their existing HIEs with behavioral health data in an effort to improve care coordination.