California HIE sets example for nationwide interoperability model

California’s Inland Empire Health Information Exchange (IEHIE), which recently went live in southern regions of the state, aims to address issues surrounding privacy of patient health information and interoperability concerns, reports Information Week.

While the healthcare IT initiative is a regional HIE, which includes data and healthcare providers at the federal level, the system also serves as an enterprise HIE solution, combining public and private information in one system. The debate over privacy and interoperability between regional and enterprise HIEs has been a significant talking point among healthcare IT experts across the country. The IEHIE could serve as an example to struggling HIEs in other areas.

“It took three years to get the stakeholders actively engaged, to do product selection, to build out the governance, and to evaluate the financial models so we could be self-sufficient without relying on grants,” Richard Swafford, executive director of IEHIE, told the news source. “It was difficult but the participants really saw the value and supported it and continue to support it.”

Established in 2009, IEHIE connects 53 hospitals, medical groups, independent practice associations, management services organizations, public hospitals and clinics serving a total of 4 million California residents. In addition to providing services to both public and private medical organizations, IEHIE also offers smaller healthcare practices the option of creating individualized enterprise HIEs for clients.

Almost 3,000 miles away in New York, healthcare organizations are working together to establish a way for care providers to share and access information. According to Healthcare IT News, the New York eHealth Collaborative and the New York State Department of Health are working with three regional health information organizations and three HIEs to create the Statewide Health Information Network of New York (SHIN-NY).

Officials involved with the project claim that SHIN-NY will unify disparate HIE initiatives to improve the quality of care for more than 13 million people in the state.

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