Most health information exchanges are still working on sharing data among providers, but Indiana has gone a step further to make it available to patients as well. Andrew VanZee, CEO of Indiana Health Information Technology, Inc., will describe how the state used a three-year ONC Challenge Grant to conduct more than a dozen pilot tests on data sharing with consumers: what worked, what needed work, and how to apply the lessons to other states. His session, “HIEs and Patient Engagement - Lessons Learned and Applied,” will be presented on Tuesday, Feb. 25 at 2:30 pm.

"Consumer engagement is a critical topic that's here to stay in healthcare, and [meaningful use] stage 2 sets the stage for changing the relationship between consumers and providers," VanZee says.

Indiana has one of the oldest and best developed HIE networks, with five regional exchanges that have 12,000 participating physicians and hold more than 12 million patient records. The oldest, the Indiana Health Information Exchange, was funded as a Beacon Community by ONC in 2010.

VanZee plans to:

  • Identify the significant policy and technical challenges that have hindered widespread availability of HIE      data to consumers
  • Discuss the policy and technical lessons learned from the Challenge Grant pilot tests
  • Demonstrate how the lessons learned can be successfully applied to help an HIE in another state rapidly and successfully deploy a statewide patient portal.

Some of the policy challenges include what information to share and when, what should be included in a data use agreement, how to handle patient identification, authentication and matching, and how to obtain consent for information associated with minors.
On the technical side, VanZee will discuss various ways to get the information from A to B, including standard protocols for continuity of care documents, Direct messaging, and Blue Button Plus.

Two of the pilot sites will also be presenting at the meeting: 

Parkview Physicians' Group, a cardiology practice in the Fort Wayne area, will present a study of the impact of personal health records on care of patients with cardiovascular disease (“Enhanced Patient Engagement in Seniors with Cardiovascular Disease,” Wednesday, Feb. 26, 1-2 p.m.)

Margaret Mary Health, a critical access hospital in Meadsville, Ind., will describe its community patient portal (Innovation in the Heartland - Deploying an Interoperable Community Patient Portal, Thursday, Feb. 27, 10:30-11:30 am).

VanZee says most of the pilot projects are moving into production and expansion. “Once they see the interest and the potential out there, they want to speed things up to meet the demands,” he says.

His central message is: get started. “If you wait to reach perfect, you’ll forever be in the planning stages.”

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