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HIE Implementation and Sustainability: Defining the Future

HIE implementation is, was, and always will be, challenging.

HIEs role

Defining HIE and its’ role in your organization is the most important first step in the implementation process. This role typically falls into one of two options:

  1. An HIE’s can function as a small regional post office that takes data in from a sender and forwards it to a receiver. These types of HIE’s can scale to be very large post offices.
  2. The HIE is a data warehouse with query retrieve capabilities that either auto populate EMR’s or are accessible via secure log in and query activity.

Either role of the HIE has its’ implementation challenges.

Implementation challenges

The biggest challenge with either HIE implementation is to secure data in a format you can use from source vendors. Most HIE’s themselves have built in Interface Engines to take data from source vendors and translate it to something the HIE can store and forward. HIE vendors, or consulting firms like Orchestrate Healthcare, can take the data in HL7 format, or a version of a CCD, and build an interface from it into the HIE itself.

However, getting data out of the source system, whether it is an EMR or a lab system or some other type, is the issue that most complicates the implementation. It requires cooperation of the original vendor and that usually doesn’t come without a price tag or a time delay.

The challenges listed above get resolved in time but can delay benefits for a long period of time for many which can also affect sustainability of the HIE. In 2014 we have started to see the need for even greater value in our sustainability strategies, which also affects how we implement.

HIEs delivering more

HIE evolvingHIE’s are being asked to deliver organized data into modeling and simulation software to drive population health. That growing requirement means that data must be discrete not just flat files and it needs to be searchable. The need for demographics and bio-markers that are associated to a specific patient is critical and therefore the interfaces to sources systems becomes even more important to being successful.

Assuming you are going to implement a 2014 HIE with population health structured data you must plan for getting discrete data and decide upfront exactly what type of data you want to include. Almost any scoring or population health analytic system will need demographics, labs, any pathology, or disease markers that identify what is wrong with the patient.

Be selective though, too much data is not always a good thing. Extra information can be unnecessarily complicated and expensive. Strategizing up front will ensure having the right data at a cost and format that can be effectively used.

At Orchestrate Healthcare we provide full consulting services including:

  • Designing an HIE roll-out with Sustainability planning
  • Implementation for customers from project management to interface development to simple connectivity.

Our consultants have extensive experience and can be valuable in a breadth of services from a 10 hour strategic engagement to doing an entire HIE deployment. People are asking if HIE is dead – our feeling is that it is not, but it is time for HIE to evolve.

Implement an HIE with flexibility and focus and you will drive much greater value.

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Orchestrate Healthcare is assisting Hallmark Health Systems with Interface Programming.


Orchestrate Healthcare is working with UCLA Health:

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