The West Virginia Health Information Network has released a request for proposals for a health information exchange platform. The network, based in Charleston and serving the entire state, was established by the state legislature in 2006.

The network is looking for a vendor that can provide services usable by all physicians in the state. This includes very small paper-based practices needing "very low cost, very easy to use entry level products that can help them migrate to a more fully functional EMR and help them achieve meaningful use along the way," according to the RFP. Another target group is practices with information systems that do not meet meaningful use requirements. "They need specific applications that fill gap areas to achieve meaningful use."

Core data exchange applications sought through the RFP includes clinical messaging, referrals, inquiry, e-prescribing, public health reporting and alerts, and encounter data.  Advanced applications in a second tier include measurement and reporting tools and a user portal. Advanced applications in a third tier include a personal health record, computerized provider order entry, patient registry and clinical decision support.

While WVHIN has applied for federal grants under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, "long-term financial sustainability for the WVHIN is founded on financial participation by health care stakeholders within the state," according to the RFP. "They include health systems, hospitals, physicians, other providers, payers and other stakeholders. WVHIN must be fully self-sustaining by 2013. Accordingly, WVHIN is looking for creative, low cost, HIE solutions that are sustainable."

Proposals are due by January 15 with the finalist notified and contract completed in April. More information is available at wvhin.org.

--Joseph Goedert

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