Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Health Information Exchange Hearing

Today in Washington, the Standards and Policy Committees met in joint session to take testimony from expert stakeholders about health information exchange.

Farzad Mostashari, National Coordinator, introduced the day, noting that we've made great strides since the founding of HL7 in 1987 and the creation of ONC in 2004, but there is more work to do.  The includes early successes, a discussion of barriers/challenges, the elements needed to ensure trust, and the role of consumers.   The hope is that the foundation laid by Meaningful Use stage 2 will enable reduced costs (and reduced vendor pricing for interfaces), increased benefit, and privacy protections that have not been historically possible.

Micky Tripathi, CEO of the Massachusetts eHealth Collaborative provided an overview of the  current landscape in his presentation, The State of Health Information Exchange.  He described HIE 1.0 as the noun and HIE 2.0 as the verb with many models  (in order of increasing level of external coordination needed):

Point to patient
Point to point
Vendor specific
Transaction specific national level
Enterprise level HIE organizations
State and regional collaboratives
National level collaborative

Next, I moderated a panel, Health Information Exchange Enabling Healthcare Transformation, describing the technology and policies which have enabled successful health information exchanges.   The major lesson learned was workflow and business value are even more important enablers than technology.

We heard from
Michael Lee, Atrius Health
Sandy Seltzer, Camden Coalition
Keith Hepp, HealthBridge
John Blair, Hudson Valley Initiative
Karen VanWagner, Plus ACO/North Texas Specialty Physicians

Next Paul Tang moderated a panel, Technical and Business Barriers and Opportunities, which concluded that meaningful use stage 2 significant reduced technology and policy barriers by constraining optionality in standards and aligning incentives to exchange data.  We heard from

John Halamka, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
David Horrocks, CRISP
Bill Spooner, Sharp
Tone Southerland, Greenway

After lunch, I moderated a panel, Governance Barriers and Opportunities, which focused on governance and trust fabric efforts necessary to ensure authentication and authorization of participants in health information exchange.   We heard from

David Kibbe, Direct Trust
Christopher Alban, Epic
Sid Thornton, Care Connectivity Consortium
Michael Matthews, Healtheway

Finally, Paul Tang moderated a panel, Consumer-Mediated Exchange, which emphasized the importance of provider-patient as well as provider-provider health information exchange using the Direct standards.   We heard from

Jeff Donnell, NoMoreClipboard
Mary Anne Sterling, Sterling Health
Neal Patterson, Cerner
Alan Blaustein, Care Planners

Paul Tang summarized the day and we agreed that the robust discussion will inform the work plans of the policy and standards committees as we all work hard to increase the volume and usefulness of health information exchange throughout the country.

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