Ohio HIE joins statewide exchange project

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CliniSync, the statewide health information exchange (HIE) project currently under development in Ohio, reached a significant milestone with the addition of the West Central Ohio Health Information Exchange (WCOHIE) to the initiative, according to Healthcare IT News.

Six hospitals will be connected through the new HIE thanks to the collaboration between CliniSync and the WCOHIE. In addition, the exchange network will encompass a dedicated internal healthcare services organization and two specialist laboratory facilities, offering significant improvements in how medical and other data is shared between the facilities, as well as higher standards of care for patients.

“This is about enabling the coordination of care,” said Dan Paoletti, chief executive officer of the Ohio Health Information Partnership, which is responsible for the construction and development of the project’s healthcare IT infrastructure. “The idea is to bring all these pieces together using the statewide backbone that is being used within the communities, which ultimately folds up to the statewide HIE.”

The partnership is comprised of several regional healthcare organizations, including the Ohio Hospital Association, the Ohio Osteopathic Association, the Ohio State Medical Association and various government agencies throughout the state. According to the news outlet, the partnership identified early on that establishing a reliable healthcare IT infrastructure was vital to the scalability and customization capabilities of the HIE.

The project aims to include physician practices across the state by allowing them to participate in the sharing of information through the Direct Project, pioneered by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health. Paoletti told the news source that the Direct Project allows physicians who are still adopting medical informatics technology to share patient data with facilities in the HIE relatively easily.

The implementation of HIEs are becoming increasingly commonplace throughout the healthcare industry. The Department of Veteran’s Affairs recently announced further expansion of its Virtual Lifetime Electronic Record project to include facilities that are part of HIEs throughout the Midwest.