by Harold J. Apple, Chief Executive Officer, IHIE
Hospitals connected to the Indiana Health Information Exchange (IHIE) have a new tool to aid their efforts to meet federal Meaningful Use (MU) requirements for Electronic Health Record (EHR) technology. IHIE’s Notifiable Condition Detector (NCD), which allows hospitals to transfer lab data electronically to the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) for public health reporting purposes, has received federal certification through the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, or ONC.
IHIE’s NCD was developed more than 10 years ago by the Regenstrief Institute. With a certified NCD module, hospitals can use their existing IHIE connection to meet federal MU guidelines. The importance of an NCD to public health agencies cannot be understated. Fortunately, IHIE customers have access to the best in the nation, thanks to the work of the Regenstrief Institute and their partners at the Indiana Center of Excellence for Public Health Informatics (ICEPHI). Launched in 2009 with funding from the CDC, ICEPHI is a collaboration of multidisciplinary researchers and public health practitioners with a goal of advancing public health informatics by developing a robust infrastructure. Through the use of an NCD, public health agencies, such as ISDH, are able to quickly identify outbreaks of communicable diseases. Early detection allows the health agency to react to threats quickly to minimize the spreading of diseases and to notify the healthcare provider community. This is one example of how federal incentives are propagating the meaningful use of electronic health data.
The American Public Health Association published a report in their February 2014 issue summarizing the challenges to EHR adoption and MU based on nationwide data from more than 43,000 unique healthcare providers. Indiana is the only state in the country that reported zero challenges to achieving MU objectives.
We believe a major contributing factor for this stunning distinction is access to advanced health information exchange tools in the state. In 10 years, IHIE has built the most comprehensive health information exchange ecosystem in the country. This access enables providers to extract value and meaning from electronic health data which results in improved healthcare quality and care coordination, lower costs, increased patient engagement, and better privacy and security.
Last October, Thrive Health Data Solutions was launched as a commercial venture of the Indiana Health Information Exchange. IHIE essentially out-sources the operations of the exchange to Thrive, which allows IHIE to re-double our efforts supporting Indiana hospitals, providers, payers and employers. We are committed to providing the most innovative technology solutions to continue pushing Indiana to the front of the pack of Health IT adopters.
If you have any questions about the work IHIE is doing to support Meaningful Use in Indiana, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to hear from you.