Report: HIE organizations important for advancing state-level entities

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Health information exchange (HIE) organizations with public-private governance and a statewide mission are an important organizational unit for advancing HIE efforts. The consensus is based on the interim findings of an ongoing study from the Foundation of Research and Education (FORE) of the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), under contract to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONCHIT) in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

The interim findings, “Building Sustainable Health Information Exchange: Roles for State-Level Public-Private Partnerships,” were the focus of discussion at a collective HIE conference held last week in Washington, D.C. The conference involved panels of operational state level entities, updates from the national level and breakout sessions. Participants contributed on the study areas of state-level HIE governance, services and sustainability and their role in developing nationwide HIE capabilities.

The new research identifies and defines the three roles for state-level entities: convener, collaborator and operator.

“Statewide governance for HIE, grounded in public-private partnership, can help assure coherence between state health policy aims, consumer protections and local HIE capacity building efforts while providing a critical link to national level initiatives,” according to Lynn Dierker, RN, project director.

The conference and preliminary report are part of a FORE project that began in 2006 under an HHS contract. The project's larger aim is to guide the ongoing development of state-level HIE efforts, and their roles in the support of developing a nationwide network.

The final report is due in March 2008.