Welcome to ConnectHealthcare.

What is HIE?

ConnectHealthcare℠ is a Health Information Organization (HIO), an entity which provides health information exchange (HIE) services to provider organizations. Provider organizations may range in complexity from a single physician office or school nurse clinic to an integrated delivery system.

Why is HIE relevant?

As the practice of medicine has become more complex with thousands of diagnoses, medications, and laboratory tests, plus more complex treatments, it has become clear that treating patients without access to known medical information about the patient is ever more risky. Such treatment is likely to result in duplication of therapy or medications, repeated laboratory tests, and prescribing or treatment errors that may complicate existing morbidity or even lead to death, not to mention waste expensive health resources.

Stage 1 of meaningful use incentives under ARRA required that eligible professionals and hospitals demonstrate that they could exchange data between electronic health record (EHR) systems. Stage 2 of meaningful use requires exchange of clinical data among disparate systems for a significant proportion of patients – to make such exchange routine. While there are some financial incentives associated with accomplishing exchange, the real incentive is to break down silos of patient care data and provide the right data for the right patient at the right time at the point of care. Experience with paperless hospitals (Level 7 of the HIMSS Analytics classification system) has demonstrated that all-electronic hospital systems provide improved quality at lower cost.

As healthcare is transformed to a more accountable discipline, the need for data at every stage of the care process becomes evident. Systematic processes can be improved. Eclectic processes are not subject to iterative improvement. The average complex patient is cared for by 31 physicians. It is not conceivable that this small orchestra of professionals with special skills can possibly provide the best care without knowing what the others are doing for the patient.

Some of this care may be provided in one location and results entered in a single EHR but it is almost a certainty that some of the care, lab results, radiology readings, and specialty and subspecialty input, will come from outside the organization or system having a single EHR. With HIE, these providers can be linked. Without HIE, the patient’s care has gone from a pool of paper charts to pools of unlinked electronic systems. HIE is the only way to have rational medical care in our otherwise connected world. Unconnected care should be unthinkable. Our goal is to make it rare.