CHIME StateNet is releasing foundational operating guidelines for RECs and HIEs. Both sets of principles have been presented to ONC, “which has been receptive to the recommendations,” according to CHIME.
Some of CHIME StateNet’s recommendations for HIEs include:
- Adoption of best practice models with common themes across states – patient identification, provider directories, consent management, privacy provisions, data standards and other common services – with standardization where possible to minimize redundant activities and optimize use of public funds;
- Where possible, recognizing defined and exclusive geographic regions for HIE at the State level, and in the case of regions that cross State lines, by agreement between States.
- Coordinating REC activities with the approved State HIE plan to ensure that resources are used effectively, guarding against any conflicts as part of the evaluation of and sustainability of the plan.
- Establishing public/private awareness campaign to raise awareness of HIEs’ benefits for patients.
- Enabling an efficient workflow based on semantic interoperability to allow exchanged data to be normalized by the caregiver’s preferred application, easing adoption and effective use.
- Adopting a standard methodology for the patient identification process that would apply across all HIEs.
- Adopting a standard procedure for correcting errors with a suitable audit trail to address the challenges of both federated and centralized HIE models.
- Creating a statewide inventory of HIE environments to identify all potential stakeholders and to assure that sustainable funding is applied equitably and tax dollars efficiently utilized to encourage a well defined State HIE infrastructure.
- Ensuring that governance model(s) include representation for all participants.
In regards to RECs, the CHIME StateNet principles highlight the role they can play in helping small providers and critical access hospitals implement EHRs and participate in the exchange of health information.
As guiding principles for RECs, CHIME StateNet recommendations include:
- Working with established healthcare delivery organizations;
- Maximizing federal funding through collaboration among all parties;
- Harmonizing state law requirements to assure consistency across state boundaries;
- Leveraging local healthcare community expertise on EHR adoption;
- Working with organizations that have established patient identification methods to leverage lessons learned;
- Ensuring small physician practices and other target provider populations receive the necessary assistance for sustainable longer term business models;
- Providing guidance on best practice governance models to ensure all participants have representation.
CHIME StateNet is comprised of healthcare CIOs representing each of the states and the District of Columbia. StateNet was created by the CHIME last year for the purposes of gathering and communicating relevant in-state health IT developments, including HIE formation and sharing information on best practices within and across states. ONC has approved 27 state health IT plans that detail statewide initiatives; plans for the remaining states are in various stages of approval.
Copies of the guiding principles can be accessed below: