ONC Approves Strategic and Operational State HIE Plan for Mississippi

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Created by Hielix and Partners, Plan Will Expand State’s Successful MSCHIE Pilot Program

The project has been extraordinarily successful in moving medical records online and improving efficiencies and communication among healthcare providers...

Hielix, a leader in creating operationally sustainable, open solutions to seamlessly exchange health information, today announced the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) for Health IT has approved the Strategic and Operational Plan (SOP) for a Health Information Exchange (HIE) for the State of Mississippi. The SOP developed by Hielix, along with partners ApeniMED and PCG, describes the strategies and activities necessary to expand the Mississippi Coastal Health Information Exchange (MSCHIE) to the include the entire state and advance adoption of electronic health records (EHR) through the creation of a statewide health information network. Hielix is currently working with the state on a plan for making the HIE self-sustainable within four years.

While Mississippi awarded a three-company SOP contract in May 2010, it has been working toward a statewide electronic health exchange since the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. In 2007, the state created MSCHIE as a “proof-of-concept” project to restore the medical information system across the six coastal counties most devastated by Katrina. As a result, medical records are now stored and exchanged between providers electronically as opposed to using an outdated paper-based system which is vulnerable to natural disasters.

“The MSCHIE project provided us with a strong foundation of knowledge that helped inform the strategic plan for a statewide HIE in Mississippi,” said Patti Dodgen, CEO of Hielix. “The project has been extraordinarily successful in moving medical records online and improving efficiencies and communication among healthcare providers along the Gulf Coast. As a result, the state is ahead of the curve in realizing the benefits of HIE in improved healthcare and lower costs, and far better equipped to manage in the event of a future disaster situation.”

In addition to better patient care, adoption of a statewide HIE will improve safety and efficiency by ensuring health information is available to healthcare providers at the point of care, while reducing medical errors and avoiding duplicative procedures. It also will improve coordination of care between hospitals, physicians, and other healthcare professionals and not only provide consumers access to quality care and cost information, but to their own health information, in an effort to encourage greater participation in their healthcare decisions.

“We are excited to have ONC’s approval to begin implementing HIE across the state,” said Candice Whitfield, the Governors Health Policy Advisor. “The lessons learned through the success of MSCHIE, combined with the advice and expertise of Hielix and its partners, will guide the creation of an efficient, secure and financially sustainable HIE that will ensure improved health care delivery, treatment and outcomes for all Mississippians.”

In addition to Mississippi, Hielix’s HIE work currently spans six states, Guam and Puerto Rico. The company is also responsible for consulting to the SunCoast Regional Health Information Organization (RHIO) in Florida, among others.

About Hielix
Hielix creates operationally sustainable, open solutions for seamlessly exchanging healthcare information. Hielix works with healthcare providers, including physician practices, hospitals and regional/state healthcare organizations to seamlessly integrate health IT (HIT) solutions with minimal disruptions to operational and clinical workflows. Services include HIT readiness planning, meaningful use planning and reporting, EHR vendor selection, implementation and more. To learn more about Hielix visit http://www.hielix.com

About ApeniMED
ApeniMED (formerly MEDNET), known for its industry-leading HIE platform and NHIN expertise, is headquartered in Minneapolis, MN with additional offices in Seattle, WA and Washington, D.C. Founded in 2007 by experts in healthcare technologies, ApeniMED specializes in health information exchange and federal agency connectivity using the Nationwide Health Information Network (NHIN), empowering clinicians with real-time access to clinical data shared locally, regionally and nationally.

About PCG
Public Consulting Group (PCG), the prime contractor on the project, provides management consulting and technology services to help public sector education, health, human services, and other government clients achieve their performance goals and better serve populations in need. Founded in 1986 and headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, PCG draws on nearly 25 years of consulting to public sector clients in all 50 states, Canada, and Europe to deliver best-practice solutions and measurable results to state and local public agencies, state-operated facilities, and private providers that do business with government agencies. Visit http://www.publicconsultinggroup.com to learn more.

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Sharla Lane
JN Communications
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