Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Health Information Exchange in Chattanooga … the latest developments

In my February post I described Chattanooga health community's attempt to get a Health Information Exchange started.    When we got together the main charge (established by the leadership group) was to determine if Chattanooga should form its own exchange or become a "community" within an already established HIE.   

The three workgroups (technical, clinical and security & privacy) debated over  several months,  looked at the issues from their respective points of view, and came up with the verdict:  join the MTeHC (Middle Tennessee eHealth Connect) out of Nashville.  

The decision was not easy but it had to do with the speed of implementation and the cost of running our own HIE.  

At end of November the workgroups were "reactivated"  and we started planning for the nitty gritty of hospital data exchange.   The initial aim of the health exchange is reduce the rate of readmissions for Erlanger, Memorial and Parkridge Hospitals.   Data sharing tests are projected to start somewhere in the April-June 2012 timeframe.  

While we are waiting for the data sharing agreements and the technical architecture for sharing of data to be built, the clinical workgroup would like to have "security messaging" functional as soon as possible.  This will allow clinicians to share data among each other using something like a secure webmail system. 

In my next post I will post MTeHC's profile.  

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