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New Partnership Expands Florida's Health Information Exchange

Harris Corporation, an international communications and IT company, recently announced a first-of-its-kind agreement with Quest Diagnostics that will significantly expand the breadth of services offered by the Florida Health Information Exchange (HIE).  Harris was awarded a four-year contract with the Agency for Healthcare Administration in 2010 to implement a statewide HIE infrastructure in Florida that will improve the delivery and coordination of healthcare.

The technology framework provided by the Florida HIE allows participating healthcare providers to securely access and send patient health information to authorized participants.  The latest agreement calls for Harris to integrate its Direct Secure Messaging Services capability with the Care360 suite of solutions from Quest Diagnostics.  This will enable the Florida HIE to connect with all users and providers of the 11,000 physician offices in Florida currently using Care360.

The Care360 suite of solutions from Quest Diagnostics is a Web-based platform that provides physicians with online laboratory test ordering, e-prescribing, clinical messaging, and clinical documentation.  

Quest Diagnostics will be the first technology vendor to partner with the Florida HIE, through Harris, to offer the Harris’ Direct Secure Messaging service for the exchange of clinical data among providers.  

The integration connects the Florida HIE to Care360 providers, pharmacies, and hospital members, facilitating access to necessary clinical information, communications, and improving coordination of care.  Users will now be able to securely send referrals, provider-to-provider messages, and exchange patient health information such as health histories, results, medication histories, lab results, problem lists, and other clinical data.

“The addition of the 11,000 physician offices in Quest Diagnostics’ Florida physician network continues our progress toward increasing the use of the statewide HIE,” said Don Mestas, vice president, Harris Healthcare Solutions.  “With Care360 now connected to the HIE, providers across Florida can securely share patient information, to make it available when and where it is needed, and to deliver the best possible care to patients.”

Last year, the Florida HIE launched the Harris Direct Secure Messaging application to enable the secure delivery and receipt of messages, while providing the audit functions needed to share clinical information.  It leverages a provider directory to connect users with other registered organizations and providers—minimizing duplication of care and enhancing care coordination and collaboration.

The agreement will lead to a broader application of secure messaging and encourage rapid adoption through greater integration and market penetration.  The service will connect physicians, hospitals, labs, pharmacies, and payers to a communications network that makes timely document exchange available for decision-making and coordinating care.

“With more than 60% of physician offices in Florida currently connected to Care360, the ability for providers to send and receive secure messages allows for more collaborative care,” said Richard A. Mahoney, vice president of healthcare information solutions at Quest Diagnostics and president of its HIT subsidiary MedPlus.  “This means that clinical data, patient history, and clinical guidelines are at the fingertips of providers to help facilitate their essential work of healing and caring.”

Harris offers a full range of interoperability solutions, including IT infrastructure and management, clinical workflow and analytics, HIE, and imaging.  Harris solutions improve healthcare quality, safety, efficiency, cost, and outcomes by ensuring that the right information travels, with security and privacy, to the right person, at the right time, on the right device, at the point of care.

Source: Quest Diagnostics