Monday, December 29, 2014

NORC issues report on HIE progress in six states

PARCA eNews – Dec. 29, 2014 – National Opinion Research Center (NORC) released its latest case study report as part of the evaluation of the State HIE Program. The study involved more than 100 interviews with HIE participants about what is working, and what isn't in HIE. One of the major takeaway messages is that states need to play a central role in leadership, coordination, collaboration, and policy development to identify local health IT needs and gaps.

In 2009, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) created the State Health Information Exchange (HIE) Cooperative Agreement Program (the State HIE Program), offering states and territories $564 million in funding and providing guidance for states to enable secure electronic information exchange.

NORC conducted a summary round of case studies in 2014 to identify key enablers, challenges, and lessons learned from the program. They conducted a qualitative, in-depth assessment of six states, Iowa, Mississippi, New Hampshire, Utah, Vermont, and Wyoming.

Their findings showed that most grantees pursued a dual-pronged strategy of enabling both directed and query-based models to electronically share a variety of information. Common services included care summary exchange, lab results reporting and exchange, public health reporting, and transmission of admission/discharge/transfer (ADT) messages, among others.

Three lessons learned included:
  1. Set tangible, intermediate goals that keep stakeholders energized by ongoing progress and allow them to make course corrections when necessary. 
  2. The presence of large health systems strongly influences the development and uptake of grantee services. In some states, large players delivered participants and data to grantee-led HIE systems, while in others they acted as competitors and the absence of their data hurt the value proposition of the state systems. 
  3. Stakeholders in all six states reported IT-related challenges. To address EHR and HIE developer issues, some grantees shifted to a best-of-breed approach, working with multiple HIE developers for different needs. For interoperability, many look to the ongoing development and adoption of data standards as the long-term solution.  

The full 42-page study is available here. For an ONC summary, click here.

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