Connecting Mass hospitals with Direct

Source: John Halamka, MD Date: Jun 27, 2013 e-mail to a friend

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On Monday, I joined several Massachusetts CIOs at a Meditech healthcare information exchange kickoff meeting.

Here are the slides we used. Meditech has chosen to do the right thing: support the Direct protocol without requiring a vendor specific HISP, an interoperability "subscription" or transaction fees.

Nationwide, any of Meditech's Meaningful Use Stage 2 certified platforms — Magic 5.66, Client/Server 5.66, or  6.07 — can support the Direct implementation guide (SMTP/SMIME) and the SOAP/XDR addendum.

The Massachusetts HIE, the Mass HIWay, has been live since October 2012 and now transports thousands of transactions per day among providers, payers, patients, and government. Our goal in 2013 is to add more organizations and more use cases. Meditech provides about 70 percent of the hospital information systems in the Commonwealth, so it is critically important that Meditech integrates well into the state's cloud-based HISP.

Over the next few months, a diverse array of hospitals will work closely with Meditech and state government to implement production HIE transactions.

Earlier adopters will include Jordan Hospital, Holyoke Hospital, Winchester Hospital, Berkshire Health Systems, Harrington Hospital, and Exeter Health (in New Hampshire). Use cases include transition of care summary exchange, public health reporting. lab results reporting, admission notification, and ED arrival notification.

Once these pilots are complete, we'll spread Meditech connectivity through the Commonwealth.

With other EHR vendors, which are requiring vendor specific HISPs, we're still working through the trust issues (authentication is easy, authorization is harder) that enable HISP to HISP communications among those clinicians who have agreed to all our privacy policies.  Once this work is done the number of clinicians with HIE connectivity will accelerate as network effects incentivize data exchange for care coordination, care management, and population health.

John Halamka, MD, is the CIO of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston and blogs regulary at Life as a Healthcare CIO, where this post orginally appeared.


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