Omaha, NE (JANUARY 9, 2018) – The Nebraska Health Information Initiative (NeHII) 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.
NeHII 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. Seventeen 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 network implementation.
PCDH is a major step forward in improving our nation’s health. It allows us to reach beyond state borders with patient data and ensure their care is personalized and comprehensive. We know that patient populations are highly mobile, and our need for data continues to increase with modern care.
PDCH will better allow for providers to manage patient care by not limiting data to state lines. Deb Bass, CEO of NeHII commented, “NeHII is proud of our work in Nebraska to establish a secure health information exchange, and we understand the need and value to amplify this by connecting with other states in the region. This is the beginning of many opportunities for national healthcare improvement and connectivity through shared patient data.”
What is PCDH?
At its core, PCDH is an inter-HIE notification and data sharing system that allows a patient’s records to follow them wherever they seek care. Because patients are unrestricted by geographic boundaries when they seek care, it is common for a person to be treated by a doctor, clinic or hospital a distance from where they live. Frequently the “away” treatment facility is not a part of the same HIE in which the patient’s “home” doctors participate. As a result, 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.
NeHII, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, is a web-based health information exchange sponsored by Nebraska physicians, hospitals and clinics, and health insurance companies. It provides a system to electronically share personal health and medical information securely between doctors, hospitals, and other health care providers, in a secure environment, when it is needed for patient care.
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.
Deb Bass, CEO