Colorado and Kansas HIEs Team Up for Advanced State-to-State Exchange of Patient Data

Date: July 22nd, 2015Category: CORHIO e-NewsletterTopics: HIE, Interoperability, Colorado Hospitals & Health Systems

The Kansas Health Information Network (KHIN) and CORHIO work together to make important patient data available to Kansas health care providers.

Patient data from Colorado-based Centura Health, a 15-hospital integrated care delivery network, is now available to Kansas providers as a result of a new connection between KHIN and CORHIO. The connectivity between the HIEs allows discrete data to transmit from one HIE to another and be routed to authorized health care providers within their EHR workflow or via KHIN’s secure, web-based patient query portal. Utilizing this type of advanced technology allows for a more robust type of exchange than limited Direct message exchange.

Currently the CORHIO-KHIN data transmission is limited to sending data from St. Catherine Hospital, a Centura Health hospital in southwestern Kansas, to Kansas providers who treat patients from the hospital in outpatient settings. However, depending on the needs of patients and providers across the two-state region, data exchange could be expanded in the future.

Interoperability Across State Lines

St. Catherine Hospital is an important medical center in the southwest region of Kansas and local providers needed the hospital’s data to better coordinate care for their patients. Via their Meditech electronic health record system, St. Catherine Hospital was already sending data into CORHIO through the existing Centura Health system participation in the network. So the most efficient way to get the data from St. Catherine Hospital to the providers at the point of care was electronically connecting to a system housed a state away in Colorado. This creative solution is a great example of interoperability across state lines and leveraging existing systems and connections to improve patient care.

Two Different Organizations with Shared Goals

Both KHIN and CORHIO are members of the Mid-States Consortium of Health Information Organizations, a large group of HIEs dedicated to enabling data exchange across regional and state lines. The two HIEs previously worked together to enable Direct messaging to share patient information between Kansas and Colorado providers through their respective Health Information Service Provider (HISP) services.

“Increasing interoperability between our member HIEs has been a focus of the Mid-States Consortium since our inception,” says Jeff Messer, CORHIO’s Chief Development Officer. “It’s very gratifying to see data now flowing from a Colorado-based hospital system connected to CORHIO back to the providers in local Kansas communities connected to KHIN. This same type of exchange is now happening between a number of the MSC members. This truly is the exchange of health information that many of us having been working towards for the last several years.”

KHIN and CORHIO plan to continue working together on data exchange, focusing on sharing data for hospitals and providers that regularly refer patients between the two states – or when geography makes it so that patients might choose to cross state lines for care.

“Health systems have developed to provide care to patients with little regard to state or geographic boundaries. Consequently, health information exchange organizations and other data sharing networks must connect together. This helps to ensure that health and behavioral health information is available to providers that need information to provide safe, high quality care,” says Laura McCrary Ed.D, Executive Director of KHIN. “The connection between KHIN and CORHIO to allow critical data to be shared is a demonstration of the trust and technical capability that is necessary to accomplish this.”