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HIEs Pilot ‘Patient-Centered Data Home’ Concept

June 1, 2016
by David Raths
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Arizona, Utah, Colorado HIEs share data based on episode alerts

Three health information exchanges that are members of the Strategic Health Information Exchange Collaborative (SHIEC) have come together to pilot the concept of a patient-centered data home (PCDH).

Arizona Health-e Connection (AzHeC), Quality Health Network (QHN) in western Colorado, and the Utah Health Information Network (UHIN) are exploring a method of sharing data between HIEs based on triggering episode alerts, which notify providers a care event has occurred outside of the patients’ “home” HIE, and confirms the availability and the specific location of the clinical data.

This would enable providers to initiate a simple query to access real-time information across state and regional lines and throughout the care continuum.

The vision is that clinical data should be available whenever and wherever care occurs and “centered” on the patient to improve patient care. This concept is being implemented in several pilots that have addressed legal and policy issues as well as the technical issues of real-time HIE-to-HIE notifications.

In this model all clinical data becomes part of the comprehensive longitudinal patient record in the patients’ data home, which is the community health information exchange (HIE) where the patient resides.

“I like to think of the PCDH project as an extension of the ‘no wrong door’ philosophy,” said Dick Thompson, executive director and CEO for QHN, in a prepared statement. “No wrong door” means that services and information are always available regardless of where the patient seeks care. “The concept is focused on providers having access to real-time data wherever a patient may present for care by providing information across state lines and disparate health care systems,” he added. “HIEs share common borders and common patients, and we are able to share information on these patients when they are away from their home zip code, bridging gaps in information and enabling more comprehensive patient records.”

The PCDH concept originated at a national SHIEC conference eight months ago, and has been piloted among HIEs that share common borders or patients.

The issues of disparate data use agreements, policies and patient privacy and consent models are overcome in this framework of patient data exchange, according to Teresa Rivera, president and CEO of UHIN.  She said there is potential for sharing patient information, especially in western states that are vacation and seasonal destinations for many patients, but it is also important to navigate the HIE-related privacy and consent laws of each state.

SHIEC is a nonprofit national consortium of statewide, regional and community health information exchanges. There are also PCDH pilots under way in various stages in a growing number of SHIEC HIEs. Participating HIEs include:

• State Health Alliance Records Exchange – SHARE (Arkansas)

• MyHealth Access Network (Oklahoma)

• IHIE (Indiana)

• Michiana Health Information Network

• Healthlinc (Bloomington IN)

• Great Lakes Health Connect

• HealthBridge

• Kentucky Health Information Exchange

• East Tennessee Health Info Network

A June 2 session at the annual meeting of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT will feature the Patient-Centered Data Home pilots.