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Industry Insight

Southern Arizona Health Information Exchange Chooses Vendor

The Southern Arizona Health Information Exchange (SAHIE) has chosen Wellogic as its strategic partner to establish its HIE. Wellogic and its partners, Apollo Health Street and Initiate Systems, will provide software-as-a-service–based clinical solutions and services to the SAHIE’s 40-plus member organizations, which include providers, health plans, diagnostic service organizations, and the state of Arizona.

Under the SAHIE’s blueprint, Wellogic’s standards-based exchange, utilizing Initiate’s Interoperable Health Platform for Patient Identification, will reduce the friction in information flow among providers, patients, payers, laboratories, imaging centers, pharmacies, and other participants in patient care. The HIE will bring together the area’s major healthcare stakeholders and systems to establish a semantically interoperable patient health summary across multiple venues of care, with a goal to achieve a rapid and measurable improvement in quality of care, patient safety, and rate of increase of healthcare cost.

The system is designed to be technology agnostic, making it easily accessible across multiple vendor systems. Building on this foundation, in subsequent phases, the SAHIE will leverage Wellogic’s patient, provider, and care management solutions to deliver patient-specific, evidence-based quality, cost, and performance recommendations to the point of care for maximum impact. Also over time, the SAHIE will leverage the exchange for populationwide analytics and improvement of healthcare expenditure and strategy.

The SAHIE has chosen to implement Wellogic’s solutions using standards and policies established under the federally sponsored and recently delivered National Health Information Network Phase II (NHIN-II) program. Wellogic is set to be the first HIE infrastructure to go live on the NHIN and also continues to interoperate via legacy standards with systems that are not yet NHIN enabled.

— Source: Wellogic


Georgia HIE Project and Medicity Reach Agreement

Bill Todd, president and CEO of the Georgia Cancer Coalition, recently announced that the coalition has selected Medicity as the technology platform for the Georgia Cancer Quality Information Exchange. The exchange will serve as a third party in the state to acquire, analyze, and report deidentified patient data around quality measures from providers and hospitals delivering cancer care. The exchange will leverage technology to efficiently and cost-effectively measure the quality of patient-centered cancer care, improve patient outcomes, and enhance adherence to industry standards through performance measurement and process change.

The coalition will deploy the exchange in three phases over approximately nine to 12 months. The project, which began in February, will involve three initial exchange members (provider sites) and will include data analysis, development of the health information exchange design, and deployment. The project will also integrate the deidentified patient data into the exchange’s analytics dashboard solution for measurement of provider and hospital performance, based on 52 quality-of-care indicators for Georgia identified by the Institute of Medicine in its report, “Assessing the Quality of Cancer Care: An Approach to Measurement in Georgia.” Upon successful completion of initial phases, the coalition plans to roll out the exchange to other cancer care providers across the state and finalize its sustainability model and business plan.

— Source: Medicity, Inc


Massachusetts E-Prescribing Project Continues to Grow

Zix Corporation and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts (BCBSMA) has announced a contract to add another 400 e-prescribing physicians in 2009. Zix Corporation and BCBSMA are extending their e-prescribing program, which is now entering its sixth year. Under the contract terms, Zix Corporation will immediately begin recruiting and deploying PocketScript e-prescribing services to 200 physicians in Massachusetts. A further 200 prescribers will be recruited and deployed following the full release of the latest version of PocketScript, which is scheduled for early in the second quarter.

This latest expansion is yet another step to ensure widespread adoption of e-prescribing in Massachusetts. BCBSMA previously announced that e-prescribing is a requirement for any physicians seeking to qualify for BCBSMA incentive programs. BCBSMA is supporting e-prescribing in an effort to continuously improve the quality, affordability, and efficiency of care for its members. The new requirement applies to both primary care physicians and specialists.

— Source: Zix Corporation


AHRQ Tool Kit Focuses on Patient Safety

The Medical Office Survey on Patient Safety Culture, a new evidence-based tool from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, can help medical office managers and clinicians assess how their staff view different areas of patient safety. The results can be used to target areas for improvement and build stronger patient safety cultures within organizations.

The survey captures opinions from all staff levels on important dimensions that relate to patient safety and quality issues, communication about errors, communication openness, information exchange with other settings, office processes and standardization, organizational learning, staff training, teamwork, and work pressure and pace.

The survey tool kit is free and available at www.ahrq.gov/qual/hospculture. It includes survey forms and a user’s guide that explains the survey process, discussing topics such as overall project planning, data collection procedures, and analysis and report creation.

The tool kit provides the following:

• easy-to-understand survey questions that take approximately 10 to 15 minutes to complete;

• ability to gain knowledge of how all staff, from administrators and clerical staff to clinicians, view patient safety culture within the medical office;

• ability to track changes in patient safety culture over time and evaluate improvement efforts;

• access to a survey users’ group for sharing success stories and implementation strategies;

• data to compare one office’s findings with others; and

• contact information for obtaining free technical assistance related to questions on survey administration, data collection, and analysis.

— Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality