Two States Making Use of Health Information Exchange Funds

July 17, 2013
EHR Intelligence

With the demand for secure and reliable health information exchange (HIE) building as a result of healthcare consolidation, meaningful use, and accountable care, recent achievements in two states — Massachusetts and New Jersey — show positive signs that the infrastructure necessary for exchanging health information is coming together.

The first bit of news comes out of Princeton, NJ, with the announcement that the state’s Department of Health has awarded $1.57 million to a coalition of healthorganizations charged with creating and operating a statewide health information network, the New Jersey Health Information Network (NJHIN), which will connect regional health information organizations already active in the state. The funds come by way of grants made available by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC).

“The creation of the New Jersey Health Information Network will further expand the use of health information technology and health information exchange to better coordinate patient care in our state,” New Jersey Health Commissioner Mary O’Dowd said in a public statement. “NJHIN will allow appropriate healthcare providers across the state to have electronic access to patient information such as medical histories, medication allergies and lab test results at the point of care.”

The successful go-live for the statewide network in early 2014 will depend on the collaboration of the NJHIN coalition that includes:

  • Jersey Health Connect, coalition lead and health information organization (HIO) serving northern, central New Jersey;
  • Health-e-cITi-NJ, an HIO serving the greater Newark area;
  • Camden HIE, an HIO serving the Camden area;
  • NJSHINE, an HIO serving southern New Jersey;
  • Virtua, an integrated delivery network (IDN) in southern New Jersey; and
  • NJ-HITEC, the state’s regional extension center (REC) 

The second bit of news comes out of Milford, Mass., where the Milford Regional Medical Center is putting a $75,000 grant to use in connecting to the state’s HIE, MassHIway. Lindsay Corcoran of the Milford Daily News is reporting that the healthcare organization will take part in a pilot program for exchanging health information with grant partners Medway Country Manor Skilled Nursing & Rehabilitation and CAREtenders.

“I think with health care reform perhaps the most critical aspect is having effective information systems. Unfortunately, it is one of the most complicated, as well,” Frank Saba, CEO of the Milford Regional Medical Center, told the Milford Daily News.

The grant funds were awarded by the Massachusetts eHealth Institute, the state-designated entity for HIE in the Commonwealth charged with implementing a five-year plan to get the MassHIway up and running.

“We’ve been looking for an opportunity to improve communication between Milford and these home care facilities,” Milford Regional Medical Center CIO Nicole Heim told the news outlet. “This will support our effort to reduce avoidable readmissions.”

For more info, whitepapers and related articles, visit the original EHR Intelligence post.