Arizona HIE picks new cloud-based offering from NextGen

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Health Current, the statewide health information exchange in Arizona, is an early adopter of Health Data Hub, a new cloud-based HIE from NextGen Healthcare.

The state has contracted with Next Gen for several years to operate Health Current and has been pleased with the service, but the time had come for an upgrade or replacement.

In 2018, HIE executives conducted an evaluation of HIE products but in the end decided to stay with the incumbent vendor to take advantage of new services such as aggregation of patient health data and being able to work with any data management interface to connect to disparate systems, says Melissa Kotrys, CEO at Health Current.

In addition to its core mission of data aggregation and sharing of patient data, Health Data Hub is designed to work with any data management interface, enabling connections to disparate systems and supporting clinical decision making at the point of care.

“As the statewide HIE in Arizona, we integrate information with the delivery of care to improve the health and wellbeing of individuals and communities,” Kotrys, says. “Greater levels of connectivity, data richness and flexibility allows us to continue expanding interoperability offerings to the Arizona healthcare community.”

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The HIE offers a single source of truth across disparate data sources for providers and enables providers to search and view data for individual patients using personal demographics or clinical parameters.

While as many as 10 other vendors were considered, what sealed the decision to stay with NextGen was the solid existing relationship and the vendor’s ability to meet all federal and state patient protection requirements.

“That’s easy to understand when you say it, but you need to be able to address standards, data quality, data normalization and standardized configurations to ensure the right information is available when needed,” Kotrys asserts.

Features of the HIE include support of clinical data types being used by ambulatory and acute care organizations in the state, an application programming interface offering complete data access and enhanced integration, a patient portal, secure messaging for patients, clinicians and other stakeholders; and cloud hosting by Amazon Web Services.

Health Current also will be able to layer additional apps on the platform to let clients query the database. “We’ll be able to look in the database and pull out specific data elements,” Kotrys explains.

The HIE also links providers to several other industry networks including Carequality, eHealth Exchange, Surescripts and the Direct Protocol secure messaging service.

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