October 10, 2017

By Mark Hagland, Healthcare Informatics

IHIE’s John Kansky shares his perspectives on the broad complexity involved in the push towards interoperability

The leaders of health information exchange (HIE) organizations are developing a wide variety of strategies, at a moment redolent with both challenge and opportunity. With the shift towards value-based healthcare delivery and payment accelerating, the need for effective data exchange between and among all the stakeholder groups—physicians, physician groups, hospitals, health systems, health plans, public health agencies, and state health departments—is growing by the day.

In that context, the need for interoperability is accelerating apace as well. Yet creating true interoperability is far more difficult in practice than in theory, particularly given that there is no “magic bullet” or easy approach that can fast-track a path to near-universal interoperability and data exchange. So what are the leaders of some of the most successful statewide HIEs doing to create successful strategies, and to help support their colleagues in moving forward?

One HIE leader who has been thoughtfully pondering these questions is John Kansky, president and CEO of the Indianapolis-based Indiana Health Information Exchange (IHIE). IHIE was founded in 2004; Kansky has been its CEO for nearly 11 years. IHIE’s network connects 117 hospitals, representing 38 health systems; 14,592 physician practices, representing 42, 215 providers; and 13,221,125 patients, and 10, 916,592,344 data elements, according to information on its website. Kansky spoke recently with Healthcare Informatics Editor-in-Chief Mark Hagland regarding his perspectives on the current moment in health information exchange, and the potential for breakthroughs in interoperability in the next few years. Below are excerpts from their interview.

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