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Maine’s HIE Reports Strong Growth in Usage, Expansion of Analytics Capabilities

June 23, 2016
by Heather Landi
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In its latest annual report, Maine’s state health information exchange (HIE), HealthInfoNet, reports a 52 percent growth in the number of users accessing the system since 2014 and a 69 percent increase in the number of patients whose records have been viewed across the largely rural state.

HealthInfoNet connects all Maine hospitals and more than 500 ambulatory care sites for a total of 571 sites connected. In 2015, according to the report, 4,718,243 patient records were accessed or exchanged and the HIE enabled 154,383 real-time notifications for events of care. There were 1.8 million total messages sent to Maine from the CDC, a 200 percent increase from 2014, and the HIE connects with 2,373,489 accountable care organization (ACO) records.

As previously reported by Healthcare Informatics’ Mark Hagland, at a time when many HIEs throughout the country are struggling under financial pressures and technical challenges, Maine’s HIE is flourishing. According to Hagland’s piece, under the leadership of HealthInfoNet’s executive director, Devore (Dev) Culver, the Portland, Me.-based HealthInfoNet has figured out how to keep the organization relevant, even as many other statewide HIEs struggle or even fold.

The organization has focused on data analytics and population health efforts to provide its members actionable insights, and its analytics offerings have been key to its success.

“In 2015, HealthInfoNet combined both clinical and claims data further enriching the predictive modeling. This expansion of the population health and analytic database strengthened the models in support of patient risk stratification and clinical care planning,” Culver said in a statement in the report.

HealthInfoNet was one of the first statewide HIEs to integrate behavioral health data with medical data, and in 2015 20 behavioral health organizations across 75 locations were connecting with the HIE. According to the report, HIE access to integrated medical information has increased behavioral health clinicians and their staff ability to coordinate care. Just in the month of January 2016, integrated care was provided for almost 3,000 Maine patients.

Claire Babcock, care management, Mount Desert Island Hospital, stated in the report, “We run reports to see which patients are at risk and share these with our primary care practices. We’re able to notify PCPs when one of their patients is in a hospital anywhere in the state and at high-risk for readmission.”

This year, HealthInfoNet was the first HIE in the nation to provide Veterans Affairs (VA) clinicians with secure access to an HIE portal, as previously reported by Healthcare Informatics.

The HIE also integrated data from Maine’s Medicaid program into its analytics and reporting platform. Maine’s HIE also received a $200,000 grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation this year for the DASH Project, making it one of the first HIEs to combine social determinant and clinical data to improve patient outcomes.

According to the report, HealthInfoNet’s population health reporting and predictive analytics platform, which uses real-time clinical data, is helping providers drive quality and cost improvements, manage risk and population health and inform operational decision-making. The report cites a case study of St. Joseph Healthcare outcomes using the HealthInfoNet Analytics and Reporting Platform. That hospital has seen a 15 percent reduction in emergency department visits, a 5 percent reduction in 30-day ED return rate and a 2 percent reduction in admissions. In addition, the hospital also saw a 13 percent in 30-day readmissions, a 1 percent reduction in inpatient days and a 5 percent reduction in cost per person.

St. Joseph Healthcare also reported a 37.3 percent drop in hospital mortality.

Looking ahead, according to the report, HealthInfoNet has a number of priorities for 2016 including implementing a population health measure reporting structure, engaging pharmacy and payers as participants in the HIE and to begin investing in advanced IT infrastructure to support health reform changes statewide.


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