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Rhode Island Non-Profit Gets Funding to Expand HIE

March 27, 2012
by Gabriel Perna
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The Rhode Island Quality Institute (RIQI), a not-for-profit organization that is trying to improve the quality, safety and value of healthcare in the Ocean State, is receiving $600,000 in federal funding to extend access to currentcare, the statewide Health Information Exchange (HIE), to the behavioral health community. Rhode Island is one of only five states to receive funding to facilitate the sharing of patient data electronically between behavioral and general health providers.

The funding was awarded by the Center for Integrated Health Solutions (CIHS)—a joint initiative of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA). RIQI will facilitate the sharing of patient data electronically between behavioral and general health providers while integrating behavioral health providers into currentcare.

“Rhode Island’s behavioral health system serves over 54,000 individuals each year. Sharing this population’s medical histories is critical to ensuring providers have the most comprehensive view of patients to best coordinate care and reduce medication errors,” Gary Christensen, COO & CIO at RIQI said in a statement. “Giving behavioral health providers access to their patients’ physical health data and collecting and sharing behavioral health data through currentcare has always been part of the roadmap for Rhode Island’s HIE.”

The subcontract will fund the development of necessary infrastructure along with various initiatives that will attempt to expand the HIE’s capabilities to behavioral health providers. This includes driving voluntary enrollment in currentcare among behavioral health patients, rolling out currentcare access to behavioral health providers to allow them to view clinical information about enrolled patients, including lab results and medication histories, facilitating the sharing of enrolled patient information between behavioral health providers and general providers and connecting them through direct messaging.

Since currentcare went live in 2011, more than 200,000 Rhode Islanders have enrolled and more than 4,000,000 health records from Rhode Island’s largest medical laboratories, eight hospitals and several small practices have been processed.

Additionally, under the subcontract, nine community mental health organizations (CMHOs) will be added to the first group of currentcare users, giving them access to all of the physical health information collected by currentcare to date and on an on-going basis. These organizations are:

·         East Bay Center

·         Gateway Healthcare

·         Fellowship Health Resources

·         Riverwood Mental Health Services

·         The Providence Center

·         The Kent Center

·         Newport County Community Mental Health Center

·         South Shore Center

·         NRI Community Services



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