The Strategic Health Information Exchange Collaborative, a national trade association representing HIEs, has named Kelly Hoover Thompson as its new CEO.

She starts the job at SHIEC on August 21 and succeeds Pam Matthews, who led the 54-member organization on an interim basis after working on interoperability issues for eight years at HIMSS.

Hoover Thompson brings a decade of HIE experience, including leading development of Pennsylvania’s statewide health information exchange, called the eHealth Partnership. In that role, the HIE achieved statewide connectivity in every county in July 2016 and developed a patient care alert system.

In a previous stint as deputy secretary at the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Hoover Thompson developed a long-term care initiative to improve care delivery and oversight, and updated healthcare facility regulations that dated back to the early 1980s.

Kelly Hoover Thompson

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Many HIE professionals are well-equipped to move forward technically, Hoover Thompson says, but what she brings is HIE policy and advocacy expertise as well as a different perspective. “I’m not an IT person; I’m an attorney and policy guru,” she says.

Her early focus at SHIEC will include an assessment of the overall state of HIEs, identification of opportunities to showcase successes, and a push to influence state and federal policies on privacy protections to better cover vulnerable populations, such as those with mental health or alcohol abuse issues.

But first, Hoover Thompson will meet with SHIEC members to find out their priorities and cooperatively work with members to develop ways to use marketing and outreach programs to help members reach their goals.

The long-term goal, however, is to help healthcare leaders understand the importance of HIEs to change the culture in healthcare and help patients recognize their role in moving toward the Triple Aim of improved quality of care and population health management while lowering costs of care. “That can’t happen without robust HIE,” she says.

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