|HealthInfoNet Goes to Washington, DC
HealthInfoNet spent some time in Washington this past April to talk health information exchange. We were able to meet with three of Maine's delegation members and staff, the CMS Office of Innovation, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT and the Congressional Budget Office. All were impressed with how far we've come since the HIE went live back in 2009. It was clear that HealthInfoNet, thanks to our exceptional staff, participating providers and many supporters, is still leading the nation in the use of health information exchange technology to support continuity of care.
From left: COO Shaun Alfreds, Senator Angus King, Communications Manager Amy Landry, CEO Dev Culver and Board Member Karl Turner.
|All Maine Hospitals Under Contract
HealthInfoNet recently announced that all acute care hospitals are now under contract to connect to the health information exchange. 34 of the 38 hospitals in the state are already connected and we expect the remaining four hospitals to connect by the end of the year. This will make Maine one of few states in the country to have all of its hospitals connected to a query-based HIE.
This is a huge milestone and a testament to the collaborative nature of the hospital community in Maine. While competitive concerns are hindering efforts in many states, in Maine, our hospitals and ambulatory provider systems have chosen not to compete on patient data and agreed early on that creating a centralized system was in the best interest of patients.
In addition to Maine's hospitals, HealthInfoNet is connected to 376 ambulatory provider sites including primary and specialty care practices, federally qualified health centers, mental health agencies, home health and long-term care providers.
For more information, including a list of connected facilities, visit our website.
New Consent Options for Mental Health and HIV Information
Patients in Maine can now consent to share their protected mental health and/or HIV information using HealthInfoNet.
Across Maine, efforts are underway to integrate mental health with general medical care services. Primary care practices in particular are adding mental health professionals to their care teams, helping them work together to care for a patient's whole person needs. But when a patient travels outside that organization to seek care at independent mental health agencies or hospitals, there remain large gaps in information sharing. Soon this mental health information, along with HIV lab tests, will be included in a patient's HealthInfoNet record and accessible to their providers with patient consent. Until now, information from a licensed mental health providers or facilities and results of HIV lab test results were not available in the system per state law. But the law was amended to provide patients a choice.
HealthInfoNet has been working for the past year to build the technical structure needed to accommodate both including this information in the system and the consent process required. This functionality should be in place later this summer.
It will be some time until all a patient's mental health and/or HIV information will be available, but they can consent now. This way as soon as any of this information is available, it will be automatically included in their HealthInfoNet record.
For more information about the consent process and what information will be available, visit our website.
|New Staff at HealthInfoNet
Jack Michaud joined HealthInfoNet in March as Application Developer, responsible for software development, technical projects, and tier 1 technical support. Among other projects, Jack is working as technical lead on the Maine state initiative, Improving Health Outcomes in Children (IHOC). Jack comes to HealthInfoNet after seven years as a System Architect and Software Engineer at Medco Health Solutions and Medco's local subsidiary, IntelliCare. Before that, Jack was a Software Developer for Tyler Technologies while completing his Masters Degree in Computer Science at the University of Southern Maine. Jack lives in Falmouth with his wife and two young children, and enjoys skiing, family time and photography.
Katie Sendze recently joined HealthInfoNet as Program Director, responsible for managing the organizations' major grant programs, including the recently awarded State Innovation Model Testing Grant. Prior to HealthInfoNet, Katie served as the Administrative Director of Primary Care for the MaineGeneral Health system. Katie has spent the last six years leading the implementation for Primary Care Patient Centered Medical Homes, the strategic platform of Healthcare Reform. Katie is experienced in implementing NCQA, Joint Commission, and other quality accrediting programs. Katie's experience also includes work with Patient and Consumer Advisory Councils. Prior to this Katie worked in Care Coordination at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute where she focused on resource and patient navigation programs. Katie graduated from Simmons College School of Management in 2006 with a Masters in Business Administration.
|HealthInfoNet Thanks Outgoing Board Members
HealthInfoNet would like to thank both Robert Allen, MD, and Ann Conway for their service to on the HIN Board of Directors. Dr. Allen joined the Board in July of 2010. Ann Conway has been with the Board since 2008. She served on the Contract Review Committee starting in 2010 and on the Nominating Committee this past year.
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