Customer Spotlight: Watertown Regional Medical Center
March 2016

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.
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Wisconsin's 'Tipping Point' is on the Horizon
Medicity's Nancy Ham Keynotes WISHIN's HIE Summit
WISHIN's work to establish a statewide health information network has Wisconsin on the verge of a "tipping point," according to Medicity CEO Nancy Ham.

Ham was the keynote speaker at WISHIN's HIE summit meeting on March 16 at the Glacier Canyon Lodge in Wisconsin Dells. More than 80 representatives of hospitals, health systems, post-acute-care facilities and others were in attendance to learn about WISHIN's progress in building health information exchange services in Wisconsin and to get an overview of similar efforts across the nation.

Medicity is WISHIN's technical partner, providing the technology that powers the WISHIN Pulse community health record and WISHIN Direct+ secure messaging. In her keynote address, Ham put the progress that's been made in Wisconsin in a national context.

Ham stressed the importance of health information exchange (HIE) services in creating "clinically connected communities." As health care providers move toward value-based care and consider their need to address population health, technology is critical, she said.

Medicity provides the technical backbone for nine statewide and 12 regional health information exchanges. Ham observed that typically participation in these so-called "public" HIEs grows incrementally, building to a "tipping point," after which participation and utilization of services increases rapidly. She referenced statistics shared by WISHIN CEO Joe Kachelski showing that the WISHIN network now includes clinical information from 3.6 million unique patients from 1,300 sites of care across the state.

Panel Discussion

The HIE summit also featured a discussion by a panel of WISHIN customers about the value they are realizing and expect to realize as a result of their participation:
  • Dr. Linda Ellis (iCare Health Plan), who explained the value of the WISHIN Patient Activity Report, which provides health plans with a daily report of member hospital encounters.
  • Pete Farrow (Group Health Cooperative-Eau Claire), who argued that health care providers cannot decline to participate in HIE if their mission is to serve the best interests of their patients. 
  • Jennifer Mueller (Watertown Regional Medical Center), who explained that her hospital was comfortable being the first WISHIN client even though the opportunity to exchange clinical data through the network would have to wait until the network was built out.
  • Steve Pelton (Ministry Health Care), who noted the strategic value of positioning Ministry to share clinical data through a broad network.
  • Cheryl Taylor (Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare), who spoke forcefully about the value of WISHIN in coordinating care for frequent emergency-room utilizers, sharing an example of a patient who had been at several hospitals in Wisconsin, from Sheboygan to Racine.
Perspectives from Other States

The HIE summit concluded with a pair of presentations from two of WISHIN's sister organizations. 

Pam Russell of the Colorado Regional Health Information Organization (CORHIO) talked about CORHIO's success in improving transitions from acute to post-acute-care settings, reducing the average amount of time spent locating patient health care records by an average of 29 hours per admission.

Corey Bovair of Coastal Connect Health Information Exchange (CCHIE) of North Carolina discussed CCHIE's use of electronic notifications to coordinate care and manage at-risk patients, including those at risk for readmission. 

2017 Event

WISHIN expects that the HIE summit will become an annual event.  More information will be forthcoming in future editions of WISHIN Connections.

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