MeHI's Connected Communities Program aims to catalyze collaboration and advance the adoption and use of Health IT to improve patient care and reduce healthcare costs.
While 79% of Massachusetts healthcare providers use Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems*, many installed EHR products are generally unprepared to support electronic Health Information Exchange (HIE) connectivity and workflows. As a consequence, providers cannot connect nor integrate electronically with other providers in their communities in a manner that improves health care.
From their vantage point, patients want better health care and need providers to be connected with other providers within their community of care. Patients benefit when care providers share their health data to build a more complete profile of their health status, as this improves decision making and cohesive care delivery. To build on the advanced merits of Health IT and achieve the Triple Aim, our Connected Communities program encourages providers to work together to develop coordinated strategies, processes and workflows that leverage the eHealth capabilities of their community.
Through this program, MeHI is collaborating with a diverse set of community stakeholders to inform the development of a statewide eHealth Plan that will drive toward a more connected healthcare ecosystem here in the Commonwealth. Communities will also get the opportunity to demonstrate their collaboration through a future granting program that aligns with the eHealth Plan.
The Connected Communities Implementation Grant
In Spring 2016, MeHI announced $3M in grants to seven healthcare organizations working with 78 partner organizations. The grants were made through MeHI’s Connected Communities Implementation Grant program, a statewide effort which seeks to enhance collaboration and communication among healthcare providers within a community through the use of innovative technologies, such as electronic health records and health information exchanges. A press release was published in June 2016.
* 2014 MeHI Provider & Consumer Health IT Research Study