Texas Health Services Authority (THSA), a public-private partnership formed to improve the Texas healthcare system, has selected InterSystems, a Cambridge, Mass.-based software provider, to develop and implement a secure technology infrastructure for health information exchange (HIE).
Texas supports a “network of networks” HIE model that empowers local communities to develop HIE networks that meet the technology needs of local hospitals and physician practices. By coordinating how these communities engage one another within their own network as well as with other HIEs, they will be able to address specific challenges.
An emerging HIE network in Houston, for example, is focused on addressing overuse of emergency rooms. The Austin-based HIE is using information exchange and analytics to improve coordination of care for high-cost, at-risk patients. Other HIEs in Texas are focused on addressing population health and chronic disease management.
With InterSystems HealthShare, these local HIE networks will be able to ensure patient privacy, support secure data exchange and messaging, and provide connections to HIEs in other states through the eHealth Exchange, formerly known as the Nationwide Health Information Network.
“InterSystems brings to Texas a wealth of experience from their work with statewide HIEs in Illinois, Missouri, New York, and Rhode Island as well as regional and national health systems outside of the United States. The HealthShare platform is fully developed and can be implemented now,” Tony Gilman, CEO, Texas Health Services Authority, said in a statement. “Texas is a large and culturally diverse state. In partnership with InterSystems, we will provide every healthcare provider—through a local HIE—the opportunity to collaborate and share electronic health records in a private, secure manner, enabling better and more patient-centric care.”
Texas is supporting the expansion and development of 12 community-based HIE networks, which received grants from the Texas Health and Human Services Commission in 2011 to cover all of the major urban areas in Texas and have committed to connect 85 percent of the 52,000 physicians and 600 hospitals in Texas. In addition, Texas is working to provide a simple and low-cost HIE connectivity option to serve counties that are not supported by a local HIE network through five qualified Health Information Service Providers. As a result of these programs, all Texas physicians and hospitals have at least one option to achieve the HIE elements of federal meaningful use requirements.
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