WISHIN Pulse Use by the Numbers
January 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.
Use of WISHIN Pulse -- Realizing the Value of the Statewide Health Information Network

Jean Doeringsfeld, MBA
Chief Operating Officer, WISHIN

At the start of 2015 WISHIN made a commitment to its board and stakeholders to put considerable focus on helping WISHIN Pulse participants realize the value of the network. Of course, one of the easiest ways for participants to realize value is to use the system. And I mean actually use it - to look up patients, to check allergies, to see lab test results - and to apply the information they find in the system when they treat their patients.

Back in January of 2015 the vast majority of our then-current clients had completed technical implementation but had not moved on to end-user status. A year later, things have changed considerably. Over the course of 2015 eighteen organizations have started actively using WISHIN Pulse - some accessing it directly from within their EHR and others logging in separately to the WISHIN Pulse portal. Some of the organizations are piloting use in their emergency departments or with their care management teams before completing a wide-spread rollout across their organization. The chart below shows the organizations using WISHIN Pulse along with the number of patient records viewed by each in 2015.

Even when using WISHIN Pulse in a limited pilot capacity, in most cases for much less than a full year, these eighteen organizations have viewed 103,865 patient records in WISHIN Pulse. And this is real use - beyond just logging in and searching for a patient. In fact, the most commonly viewed components of the patient chart viewed by WISHIN Pulse users have been encounters and face sheets (68%), laboratory and pathology results (17%), and allergies and medications (8%). The chart below shows the various types of data accessed in WISHIN Pulse in 2015.

It's no surprise that the majority of the patient records that organizations accessed were for other health care providers or health management organizations within their local community; however, there were a non-negligible number of patient records accessed outside of communities too. For example, users in the Milwaukee community accessed nearly 290 patient records that originated from participants outside their community - even some from as far away as Ashland and Hayward!

Many participating organizations used WISHIN Pulse to access patient records from other participants even when they had point-to-point EHR connectivity available between them. There are several likely reasons for this - one being that WISHIN Pulse contains data, like laboratory and pathology results, that isn't typically available via point-to-point EHR connections. Another reason may be because WISHIN Pulse users can easily view a patient's data from all participating providers in one place without having to know where the patient was previously treated.

Of course, even with a focus on getting users to use the system when treating their patients, we didn't forget about the data. Today, WISHIN Pulse includes data for more than 3.4 million unique patients and nearly 134 million encounters. And this past year several WISHIN Pulse participants began sharing care summaries (CCDAs) with the network - there are now more than 529,000 of them available - and that number is growing every day!

We still have a long way to go but we have no plans on stopping any time soon. We are certain that usage statistics will grow considerably in 2016; all of the current users will have a full year of activity and new users will join them during the year.

If your organization hasn't started integrating WISHIN Pulse into your EHR and your clinical workflows, you could be missing out on valuable clinical data that could influence treatment and care plans for your patients and improve care coordination and transitions between providers or care settings.

You can hear more about the value of the WISHIN Pulse Community Health Record from your colleagues and peers at the Wisconsin Health Information Exchange Summit on February 2, 2016 at the Wilderness Resort in the Wisconsin Dells. Register here.

Hospitals and health systems, clinics, specialists and independent providers, long-term care facilities and even health plans can use HIE to support clinical decision-making and improve transitions of care. The "digital divide" between technologically sophisticated organizations and those with more modest IT capabilities has the potential to leave parts of the health care delivery system on the outside looking in. The true promise of interoperability can be achieved only if it can benefit providers and patients at any point in the health care continuum.

Join us on February 2nd at Glacier Canyon Lodge at the Wilderness to learn how health care stakeholders across Wisconsin are meeting their Meaningful Use requirements and using health information exchange (HIE) technology to provide quality care and improve health outcomes for their patients and the community. The conference will highlight examples of proven and successful uses of HIE from existing Wisconsin HIE participants and from HIEs nationwide and will include a preview of new functionality coming soon. 

  • Clinically connected communities and the importance of HIE
  • Real-life uses of HIE in long-term and post-acute care
  • How using and customizing notifications can improve care coordination in your community
The Wisconsin Experience Panel
Hear from health care stakeholders in Wisconsin who are discovering value in Wisconsin's 
statewide HIE. Featuring panelists from Group Health Cooperative of Eau Claire, Ministry Health Care, iCare, and Watertown Regional Medical Center.
Presentations by:
Joe Kachelski, CEO, WISHIN
Nancy Ham, CEO, Medicity
Heather Hallett, Head of Knowledge Management, Medicity
Pam Russell, LTC Program Director/Government Programs, CORHIO
Cory Bovair, Application Specialist, Coastal Connect HIE
This event is open to providers, health systems, and health insurers in Wisconsin.

Registration closes January 22nd!

Wisconsin Statewide Health Information Network | Company | (608) 274-1820 | w[email protected] | www.wishin.org | PO Box 259038 | Madison, WI 53725-9038