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NeHC Network to Tackle Core HIE Challenges

July 30, 2012
by Jennifer Prestigiacomo
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National eHealth Collaborative convenes leaders to establish industry best practices

The Washington, D.C.-based National eHealth Collaborative (NeHC) today announced the members of the NeHC Health Information Exchange (HIE) Learning Network Leadership Council and the co-chairs of the HIE Learning Network workgroups.

Created as a result of feedback from contributors to NeHC’s “HIE Roadmap: The Landscape and a Path Forward,” released in April, the HIE Learning Network is organized to collaboratively develop and recommend solutions for some of the biggest challenges faced by those implementing electronic health information exchange. “A very big theme from that feedback was that there was value in the roadmap, but there was even more value in using that as a jumping off point to do deeper collaborative work in certain areas,” says NeHC CEO Kate Berry. “It really became clear that there was a significant need for this as we brought the roadmap together.”

Kate Berry

The first phase of work for the HIE Learning Network will include four workgroups focused on developing best practices recommendations on business models for financial sustainability, prioritization and phasing of HIE services, improving consistency in implementation of interoperability standards, and HIE functions to support new payment and delivery models. These topics were the top four issues that that were prioritized by more than 1,000 surveyed stakeholders. A team of co-chairs will lead each of the workgroups, with overall strategic direction for the full HIE Learning Network provided by a group of health IT thought leaders.

“We hope to continue to advance and accelerate health information exchange because we believe that’s fundamental to improving outcomes in terms of both quality and care coordination, as well as more effective cost management,” says Berry. “The more short-term goals for the workgroups are to actually develop recommended approaches to tackling some of the toughest issues facing health information exchange.”

The HIE Learning Network Leadership Council is made up of industry experts in HIE development and implementation. They will provide strategic direction for the overall HIE Learning Network and offer valuable advice and input on the HIE Learning Network workgroups through the course of their activities.

“I am pleased to participate in NeHC’s HIE Learning Network Leadership Council as it is an impressive group of experienced, knowledgeable and highly regarded executives. I look forward sharing what we’ve learned and to learning from my colleagues from across the country through NeHC’s HIE Learning Network,” said Bill Spooner, senior vice president and CIO at Sharp HealthCare, and a member of the NeHC HIE Learning Network Leadership Council and the NeHC Board of Directors, in a statement.

The HIE Learning Network Leadership Council will come together for its first meeting late in July. HIE Learning Network workgroups will meet between July and October to develop recommended best practices to be widely shared across the industry.

The HIE Learning Network Leadership Council will also help to plan and participate in a NeHC conference in late November in Washington, D.C., at which the results of the initial phase of the HIE Learning Network will be discussed and the next phase will be kicked off. This conference will be cohosted with InfoComm International, a nonprofit association representing the audio visual industry. NeHC was approached by InfoComm to develop synergies between audio-visual technologies and health information technologies.

“[The goal] will be to disseminate and build on the core work we do in the first phase and then tackle additional issues that people want to work on,” says Berry. “We have been overwhelmed by the level of interest and the level of engagement, and we’re really humbled and hopeful that we can, simply through convening and bringing people together and creating a structured environment to tackling some of these issues, that we can continue to help make a difference.”


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