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Indiana Hospitals Meet Federal Requirements to Enhance Patient Safety Efforts with New Technology

Over the course of the past decade, the Indiana Health Information Exchange has been a leader in the effort to align technology with improved patient outcomes. In its latest advancement, IHIE can now deliver a Continuity of Care Document (CCD) on behalf of hospitals. A CCD can enhance communication and coordination as a patient moves from one facility to another, but its delivery poses a technology challenge that IHIE has been able to overcome.

The value of a CCD is best presented through a real-world scenario:

A woman in her 50’s is prescribed a blood thinner by her physician. She becomes ill with pneumonia and is hospitalized. At the end of her hospital stay, she receives her discharge medication orders, but at a different dose than what was prescribed by her physician. When her physician receives a continuity of care document from the hospital, he notices that she was given instructions to take double her recommended dose. The CCD enabled her physician to make sure the error was corrected and avoid potentially serious consequences to the patient.

In this real-world scenario, the CCD summarized the care this patient received while in the hospital, including discharge orders and prescriptions. The ability to deliver this kind of document required an enhancement to IHIE’s existing technology, specifically its DOCS4DOCS® (D4D) electronic results delivery service. It was supported, in part, through federal funding from the State of Indiana’s health information exchange program.

Seventy-two of IHIE’s network of 102 hospitals have signed up for this service, including the state’s largest health systems. It is expected that more will be participating in the coming months. In May 2014, over 20,000 CCDs were delivered on behalf of the participating hospitals, which is in addition to the 14 million test results and other reports that IHIE already delivers each month through the D4D service.

Further, under the 2009 economic stimulus package, providers who demonstrate meaningful use of certified electronic health records can qualify for Centers for Medicaid and Medicare (CMS) incentive payments. Since the participating hospitals are utilizing their EHRs to send these documents through IHIE, they can fulfill certain requirements by the federal government to enhance public health, patient engagement and transition of care objectives within Stage 2 Meaningful Use.

“IHIE has been able to solve an extremely difficult problem in the healthcare system by coming up with an elegant and relatively easy solution for our customers to help them meet these requirements,” said John P. Kansky, interim President and CEO of the Indiana Health Information Exchange. “We are able to work within providers’ existing workflow, without the need for a separate, secure email based solution. The breadth and expertise of IHIE’s unique network has enabled us to offer these kinds of “value-added” solutions, which would be difficult to achieve on a smaller scale.”

IHIE meets all requirements from the federal government to provide a secure connection for this effort through its participation in the eHealth Exchange, a national public/private collaboration that supports a common set of standards and specifications that enable the establishment of a secure, trusted, and interoperable health information exchange.

About the Indiana Health Information Exchange (IHIE)

IHIE operates the nation’s largest health information exchange, providing a secure and robust statewide health information technology network that connects over 100 hospitals, long-term care facilities, rehabilitation centers, community health clinics and other healthcare providers in Indiana.

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