Quality Health Network Participates in National Launch of SHIEC’s Patient Centered Data Home™ Initiative
Grand Junction, Colorado (January 4, 2018) – Quality Health Network (QHN) today announced it participated in the national 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 collaborative representing health information exchanges (HIEs). Today’s launch signals that HIEs throughout the country are now actively sharing data with each other to make it possible for patients’ health records to follow them regardless of the location of care.
QHN 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. Based on their success of the regional implementations, the participating HIEs have each agreed to a common, national agreement for participating in PCDH, which set the stage for connecting the implementations and rolling out the full-scale, national implementation.
As one of the PCDH innovators, QHN understood the substantial value of sharing patient information from care events that occur outside of the patent’s home HIE. QHN’s patients are highly mobile across state lines due to its geographical location and the recreational/active propensity of the population it serves. PCDH is based on a triggering episode alert, which notifies providers a care event has occurred outside of the patient’s “home” HIE. However, more importantly PCDH is a “targeted” data exchange system that syncs multiple HIEs’ master person indices (MPI) and longitudinal health records together, centered on those individuals who may traverse multiple HIEs as they seek care.
“Though the number of transient patient care events occurring among our partnering HIEs in the pilot are relatively small (4,500 annually), they are of great significance,” said Dick Thompson, Executive Director and CEO for QHN. “These events are typically urgent in nature or necessitated by the need for highly specialized, esoteric care. PCDH lets providers know where and when an event has occurred and how to access data in real-time. It extends the reach of HIE across borders, states and disparate health systems – effectively and inexpensively. Our HIE participants now have access to data from more than 40 additional hospitals and data sources, bridging gaps in information and improving patient outcomes.”
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.
A longstanding and nationally recognized community partnership, QHN was established in 2004 to promote innovative uses of health IT and advanced HIE services to support health and healthcare improvements by its stakeholders. The QHN network knits together more than 90 percent of the region’s many disparate providers and healthcare facilities – which include physical and behavioral health providers and public health agencies. For more information, visit: qualityhealthnetwork.org.
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.
Ivy Eckerman: firstname.lastname@example.org
Spire Communications, (540) 373-2963
Becky Jessen: Bjessen@qualityhealthnetwork.org
Quality Health Network, (970) 248-0033