May 2015
Welcome to WISHIN Connections, the monthly e-Newsletter from the Wisconsin Statewide Health Information Network (WISHIN).  We will keep you up to date with WISHIN activities, news on health information exchange (HIE) and new product developments.

WISHIN Pulse Dashboard
Data through
April 30, 2015
Pulse Transaction Statistics
ADT Transactions: 65,635,193 

Lab/Pathology Reports: 14,710,937


Radiology Reports: 196,700


Transcribed Reports: 144,121

Public Health Syndromic 
Surveillance: 55,350,072

Pulse Patient Statistics
# of unique patients: 2,609,548
# of patients opted out: 33
# of patients opted back in: 1
Pulse User Statistics
# of Pulse Users: 1,018

Users Who Logged in 1+ Times in Month: 322

# of Chart Accesses in Month: 5,964

# of Unique Patients Queried in Month: 1,176



EKG Results Now Available Through WISHIN Pulse
Earlier this month Ministry Health and Affinity Health System
became the first WISHIN clients to share EKG reports via WISHIN Pulse. This marks the first instance of adding attachments to Pulse messages. By adding a PDF of the EKG report, connected physicians are able to view EKG wave form images along with a cardiologist's interpretation of the results. Receiving both the wave form images and interpretations allow providers to make even more informed decisions about their patients' care plans. 

EHR Vendors Eliminate Fees; Ease Path to Interoperability

The path to statewide interoperability has become a bit easier with the announcement by several electronic health record (EHR) vendors that they would eliminate fees that caused concern for some health care organizations seeking to participate in health information exchange (HIE).


In April, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology sent a report to Congress, criticizing information technology developers as well as health care organizations for "blocking" state and federal efforts at HIE.  Later in the month, Epic Systems, Athenahealth, and other EHR vendors announced plans to halt charges for interfaces and transactions related to HIE.


In its April 27th edition, Wisconsin Health News reported that Epic, the largest EHR vendor in Wisconsin, previously charged providers 20 cents for each clinical message sent to a health information exchange with inbound messages charged at a rate of $2.35 per patient per year. The vendor eliminated the fees retroactively to April 1 and plans to continue with no-charge data sharing until 2020.


Elimination of HIE-related fees is just one piece of the puzzle for interoperability. As Jitin Asnaanii, Executive Director of CommonWell Health Alliance points out, free exchange doesn't necessarily equal effective exchange. "There are two key factors that will drive real-world exchange and usage of health information," Asnaanii told Healthcare Dive, "(a) availability of functioning interoperability services to those who need them; and (b) access to the data when and where it is needed."


So while many EHR vendor fees have been eliminated for the moment, it remains to be seen if the vendors will also remove technical and practical barriers to exchange with other EHR vendors' products.


WISHIN's vendor-agnostic, one-to-many architecture advances true interoperability. One connection with WISHIN circumvents the complexity of multiple point-to-point connections between providers and delivers access to information from all other participating organizations. With clinical information for more than 2.6 million unique patients (and growing) WISHIN is a critical tool for advancing interoperability for seamless, complete and improved patient care statewide.




EHR Adoption Rates Help Wisconsin Rank Second in Nation for Health Care Quality

In a report released early this month by the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) Wisconsin placed second among the 50 states in quality of health care. The report, which ranks states on more than 200 criteria, produces a score based on a state's achievements in relation to "achievable benchmarks in health care quality."

A number of Wisconsin's highest-scoring measures were related to electronic health record (EHR) use and capabilities in hospitals. In Wisconsin many hospitals were early adopters of EHR systems and the state scored 44% better than the national benchmark in "hospitals with computerized system that allows for electronic clinical documentation including physician notes." 

A high rate of EHR adoption is one of the factors that make Wisconsin poised to lead in development of successful statewide health information exchange (HIE) and achieve widespread interoperability.

HIE is positioned to thrive in Wisconsin because so many hospitals and providers have already digitized their health care information. As an independent, EHR-agnostic HIE utility, WISHIN is able to connect to any EHR system including those created by popular vendors such as Cerner, MEDITECH and Epic as well as those of smaller organizations or custom-built EHRs. One connection with WISHIN provides access to exchange and use information from all other participating organizations.

WISHIN can play a key role in continuing to advance health care quality in Wisconsin. WISHIN Pulse makes information available to those who need it, when they need it. Enabling vital information to follow patients wherever they seek care can mean better outcomes, fewer preventable readmissions, and lower administrative costs. 

Contact WISHIN for more information regarding how Pulse could be integrated into your EHR system. 
HIT & HIE News


Wisconsin Health Care Ranks Second Highest in Nation 


How Technology Drives Care Coordination and Improves Transition of Care 


Wisconsin Statewide Health Information Network | 608-274-1820 [email protected] |
PO Box 259038
Madison, WI 53725-9038