Massachusetts Connected Communities to Enable Health IT Engagement, Collaboration, Innovation

The adoption of health information technology (Health IT) and its effective use continues to progress across Massachusetts. To further advance and promote Health IT throughout the Commonwealth and measure its impact, MeHI is developing a new community-based initiative – Connected Communities.

The Connected Communities initiative is a regionally-based, coordinated approach to expand the adoption of electronic health records (EHRs), health information exchanges (HIE), and other Health IT to enable broader eHealth advancements in Massachusetts. Recognizing that care delivery and care coordination occurs not only within one organization, but also across healthcare organizations, the initiative will provide a collaboration framework for healthcare organizations to work together to establish eHealth models that work for their region. The Connected Communities approach will leverage existing Health IT-enabled care coordination models and support new methodologies to improve care quality and outcomes.

The Connected Communities regional demographic model aligns with the Massachusetts Health Policy Commission’s Secondary Service Markets (SSM). The 15 identified communities serve as a foundation for Massachusetts eHealth engagement, collaboration and innovation.

Stay tuned as we launch the Connected Communities initiative; new programs are being announced this Fall.

Sean Kennedy is Director, Health Information Exchange for the Massachusetts eHealth Institute.