Statewide HIE taking shape in Kansas
After more than two years of detailed discussions and planning involving an extensive array of stakeholders, the statewide health information exchange is finally beginning to come together. Although much still needs to be done, the basic shape of the HIE structure in Kansas is now coming into focus.
The state agency responsible for approving regional HIEs and establishing the regulatory framework within which they will operate is moving closer to having guiding operational policies in place. That agency, the Kansas Health Information Exchange, or KHIE, is governed by a board of directors that includes two practicing physicians, Joe Davison, MD (Family Medicine-Wichita) and Jen Brull, MD (Family Medicine-Plainville). The board meets monthly, and has active committees working on issues related to financial sustainability, policy and governance. It is anticipated that KHIE will begin the process of certifying or approving regional HIEs by early fall.
The Kansas Health Information Network (KHIN)– the statewide HIE collaboration among KMS, the Kansas Hospital Association, the Wichita Health Information Exchange and eHealthAlign (the greater Kansas City HIE)–is also gathering momentum. The partners in KHIN are all using the same HIE platform technology and have signed a contract with Informatics Corporation of America (ICA), a Nashville based HIE technology company that was developed by physicians at Vanderbilt Medical Center. The ICA technology was developed to allow multiple clinics and hospitals to exchange clinical information even though they all had different EMR systems.
KHIN staff, led by Laura McCrary, Ed.D., are meeting with hospitals and physician groups all over the state to introduce KHIN to them and explain how participation in the statewide HIE will be of benefit to them and their patients. Thus far, more than 70 medical practices have signed on to attest for one of the core meaningful use measures this fall. KHIN has also received participation agreements from more than a dozen hospitals, with several more in various stages of reviewing and approving the agreements. Preparations for initiating data exchange among a number of physician clinics and the two hospitals in Wichita are going well, and a start-date implementing secure clinical messaging functionality among early adopters is planned for September. KHIN is also building a bi-directional interface with the Kansas Immunization Registry, WebIZ. That connection will allow KHIN participants to submit immunization information to the state electronically, as well as query the registry. The full functionality for immunizations is scheduled to be completed in 2012.