The Health Collaborative Participates in National Launch of SHIEC’s Patient Centered Data Home Initiative
PCDH Launch Lays Foundation for HIEs to Support Better Patient Care by Making It Possible to Deliver Patient Medical Record Alerts Across the Country
CINCINNATI (January 4, 2018) – The Health Collaborative (THC) has announced its participation 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). SHIEC is a collaborative representing health information exchanges (HIEs). The announcement signals that HIEs throughout the country are now actively sharing data with each other to support mobile patient populations. Connecting HIEs ensures that patients’ medical records follow them from one care setting to another regardless of where they receive care regionally, thereby improving care delivery and the patient’s experience of care.
THC participated in a pilot initiative known as the “heartland region” throughout 2016, one of three smaller production implementations created within regions to prove the concept of inter-HIE information sharing and alerting. This network of networks was designed to retrieve data broadly, without the care team knowing where the patient records reside. A patient having a heart attack in Cincinnati, who lives in Indianapolis, spends summers in Michigan, and had an emergency three years ago while on business in Tennessee, should have her complete medical record available to her Cincinnati treatment team.
THC was the recipient of a High-Impact Pilot grant from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) to implement PCDH for the heartland pilot project. 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.
The heartland region connects the following HIEs: The Health Collaborative (THC) in Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky; Indiana Health Information Exchange (IHIE) in Indiana; HealthLINC in Bloomington, Indiana; Great Lakes Health Connect (GLHC) and Michigan Health Information Network (MHIN) in Michigan; Kentucky Health Information Exchange (KHIE) in Kentucky; and East Tennessee Health Information Network (etHIN) in eastern Tennessee. The heartland region is currently working to connect to other PCDH pilot sites across the country in the southern and western parts of the country.
“We are proud to be counted among a larger network of technology innovators who strive to advance the exchange of health information,” said Craig Brammer, CEO of The Health Collaborative. “It was the foresight of our local health systems leaders some 15 years ago that led us to this place, where we are viewed as leaders in collaborative digital health solutions.”
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.
About The Health Collaborative
The Health Collaborative is a non-profit organization that strives to positively impact health status, experience, outcomes, and affordability by fostering a connected system of healthcare and community health through innovation, integration, and informatics in the greater Cincinnati region. For more information about The Health Collaborative, visit healthcollab.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, contact firstname.lastname@example.org and follow us on Twitter at @SHIEClive.
Director of Communications
The Health Collaborative