PCDH Launch Lays Foundation for HIEs to Support Better Patient Care by Making It Possible to Deliver Patient Medical Record Alerts Across the Country
PHOENIX, AZ (January 4, 2018) – Health Current today announced it participated in the official launch of the Patient Centered Data Home™ (PCDH) initiative, a nationwide initiative coordinated by the health information exchange (HIE) members of The Strategic Health Information Exchange Collaborative (SHIEC), a national collaborative representing health information exchanges (HIEs). Today’s launch signals that HIEs throughout the country are now actively sharing data with each other to support mobile patient populations.
Health Current participated in the western implementation, one of three smaller production implementations created within regions to prove the concept of inter-HIE information sharing and alerting. 17 HIEs participated across the three production implementations, and based on their successes, the participating HIEs have each agreed to a common, national agreement for participation, which set the stage for connecting the implementations and rolling out the full-scale, national implementation.
Health Current shares a common border with the HIEs that participated in the production or demonstration implementations, and those demonstrations showed that the PCDH initiative is a valuable and scalable tool that allows a patient’s information to follow patients wherever they seek care, according to Melissa Kotrys, CEO of Health Current.
“In Arizona we see a lot of winter visitors and others who travel to Arizona and need to receive care,” Kotrys said. “We also have a very mobile population that travels outside the state and will need to seek care outside of their ‘home’ HIE. We were able to demonstrate that the PCDH initiative works and is well worth expanding to a national model.”
What is PCDH?
At its core, PCDH is an inter-HIE alerting system. Because patients travel, it is common for a person to be treated by a doctor or clinic a distance from where they live. Frequently the “away” treatment facility is not a part of the same HIE that the patient’s doctors at home participate in. As a result, when the patient travels, there is a higher risk that the clinician treating them will not have access to the patient’s full medical records to support diagnoses and treatment plans.
To more quickly alert the treating physician that there are medical records available for access from the patient’s doctors at home, and to provide a specific query location to retrieve those records, HIEs worked together to create the technical ability for HIEs to automatically notify each other regarding the existence of a patient’s medical records and to synchronize the patient’s identity among the HIE systems.
The mechanism that makes this work is very straightforward. When a patient presents at a medical facility away from home, that facility will generate an Admission, Discharge, Transfer (ADT) message. This message includes demographics about the patient; information such as the patient’s name, the patient’s location in the hospital, his or her address, phone number, gender, etc. By including ZIP Code information in the ADT, PCDH can automatically detect when a patient is being treated within a ZIP code outside of their normal home area.
When these events occur, the “away” HIE alerts the HIE in the patient’s home area, and that home HIE, known as the patient’s “data home,” automatically lets the treating HIE know they have records for the patient so the treating HIE can generate a query to access those records. Once the treatment encounter concludes, PCDH also makes it possible for the “away” HIE to alert the patient’s home HIE that there are new records for their patient that the home HIE providers can access in order to better care for the patient on an ongoing basis. This new capability makes it possible for a patient’s comprehensive medical history to follow them wherever they seek treatment.
About Health Current
Health Current is the health information exchange (HIE) that helps partners transform care by bringing together communities and information across Arizona. More complete information leads to better care and better outcomes. It makes healthcare transformation possible. That’s why Health Current worked for more than ten years to become Arizona’s primary resource for information technology and exchange, integrating information with the delivery of care to improve the health and wellbeing of individuals and communities. Health Current: a partner that gives providers the information they need to make better clinical decisions and keep people healthy.
SHIEC is the national collaborative of health information exchanges (HIEs) and strategic business and technology partners. As the unbiased data trustees in their communities, the 60 member HIE organizations manage and provide for the secure digital exchange of data by medical, behavioral, and social service providers to improve the health of the communities they serve. Collectively, SHIEC members serve almost 75 percent of the U.S. population. For more information about SHIEC, visit email@example.com and follow us on Twitter at @SHIEClive.