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Monday, September 11, 2017 3:00 PM

The Path Forward for HIEs, and What I Learned at the SHIEC Annual Conference

Written by Jeff McGeath, Senior VP of Software Solutions, Iatric Systems

PS SHIEC Conf HIE Blog Header Sept 2017.jpgI recently attended the Strategic Health Information Exchange Collaborative (SHIEC) annual conference in Indianapolis. I had the honor of presenting Iatric Systems thoughts on how to increase HIE utilization with our very disruptive FlexButtonTM technology.

I will not give that presentation here, but suffice it to say that we have introduced to the healthcare space an early-entrant, disruptive technology, which allows any data provider to inject their data directly into the EHR workflow. It was a message that resonated well with the HIE community.

What struck me as unique about the SHIEC conference was the level of expertise among the attendees. These professionals are charged with taking the mountain of rich clinical data that they have acquired over several years and turning that into new and efficient business models. And with these business models, these professionals are expected to address topics such as Population Health, MACRA, Payer Alerts, and the continued interoperability advances that are needed to make the transitions of care in and out of the hospital as seamless as possible.

My time interacting with the members over lunches and dinners, breaks between sessions, or at our booth solidified my belief that SHIEC is on the right track with their collaborative as they work together to solve these challenges.

It was very encouraging to see the National Coordiantor of the ONC, Donald Rucker, M.D. in attendance. Dr. Rucker and the ONC continue to focus on interoperability topics. He spoke about the issues of interoperability in his opening keynote speech and talked about the goals of the ONC to address those challenges.

The HIE collaborative represents a goldmine of community data across the country. My use of the word “goldmine” is more than just a catchy adjective to describe the data. It really is the gold that the HIE community has mined and must now get in front of all healthcare players to assist in improving patient care and the experience that patients receive when they most need a helping hand.

If you are a hospital or health care system, this should be good news for you. You may have joined your state or regional HIE, but if you are not yet seeing great value from participation, I encourage you to reach out to your HIE to have discussions with them about how to provide you with access to this data. (Or, contact us and we can help to facilitate those discussions).

I was also touched last week when I read about the passing of the founder of Cerner’s First Hand Foundation, Jeanne Lillig-Patterson. Cerner co-founder, board chair, and interim CEO Cliff Illig wrote to employees and reminded them of the images of Jeanne and Neal walking through hospital lobbies carrying bags that contained Jeanne’s medical records. Cliff reminded the staff — As Neal would want us all to recognize, it’s our job to get rid of Jeanne’s bags.

That is such a profound statement by Cliff, and it transcends all vendors and all competitive landscapes in our industry. It is all of our jobs to get rid of Jeanne’s bags. And I feel the work that the SHIEC community is doing, and the data they have at hand, will go a long way toward meeting that vision.

If you'd like to hear from one hospital about how their HIE is already helping providers access valuable HIE patient data from within their existing workflow, view this video.