An NwHIN Direct story
In the United States, the State of Rhode Island is making progress toward improving health care and controlling costs by using InterSystems HealthShare for statewide health information exchange, health data aggregation, and analytics.
HealthShare and the Nationwide Health Information Exchange Network (NwHIN)
InterSystems HealthShare is a strategic platform for healthcare informatics. It provides technology for a range of functions, from health information aggregation and sharing, to real-time active analytics that can drive informed action at the point of care.
Uses for HealthShare include care coordination, integrating disparate electronic health record systems to create a single view of patient data, provider referrals, clinician notifications, identification of high-risk patients, public health reporting, and many others.
InterSystems is an active participant in industry standards activities, and HealthShare supports a wide range of standards within its framework. The NHIN standards, including Direct, are just one example.
Rhode Island’s statewide health information exchange, called CurrentCare, is a service of the Rhode Island Quality Institute (RIQI) and was built on the HealthShare strategic informatics platform. One challenge RIQI had to overcome in the development and deployment of CurrentCare is common to many regional and statewide information exchange efforts. The issue is how to simply, cost-effectively, and non-disruptively collect patient data from smaller physician practices that lack the resources to connect directly to the health information exchange.
A growing number of practices do have the basic infrastructure needed to support the Nationwide Health Information Network Direct protocols and the creation of standard summary of care documents, and RIQI is acting on this opportunity. Through a health internet service provider (similar to an internet service provider) these practices exchange care summaries securely with other providers and hospitals to improve care coordination. The care summaries may also be sent to CurrentCare, providing a seamless feed of information from small practices into the statewide health information exchange. If the patient has consented to have CurrentCare collect this information, CurrentCare posts the care summary to the patient’s record.
“The comprehensive patient record we’re building with HealthShare is giving providers across the state the information they need to deliver the best care,” says Gary Christensen, RIQI’s chief operating officer and CIO. “And HealthShare gives RIQI the analytics needed to target cost savings and provide a level of quality-of-care feedback that physicians can’t get by looking only at their own records.”