In The Know

etHIN Participates in Heartland Project to Improve Flow of Health Data

SHIEC Heartland Project Tests “Patient Center Data Home”

KNOXVILLE TN – The East Tennessee Health Information Network (etHIN) is working with six other health information exchanges (HIEs) in four states as part of the Heartland Project to improve the flow of health data for patients.

As part of the Strategic Health Information Exchange Collaborative (SHIEC) Heartland Project, led by The Health Collaborative in Cincinnati, Ohio, etHIN is working with HIE’s in Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, and Ohio to notify healthcare providers when one of their patients has a care event that occurs away from the patient’s home area.

“The etHIN region is in East Tennessee where the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is located,” said etHIN executive director Leigh Sterling. “Because of the tourism in this area, etHIN has medical data on patients from all 50 states and beyond who were treated by an etHIN participant while traveling here.”

The Heartland Project is testing the Patient Centered Data Home (PCDH) concept, a network of networks designed to retrieve data in a cost-effective, scalable way without the patient’s care team having to know specifically where the patient was treated in order to request their medical records. PCDH is based on an HIE sending an alert to a patient’s ‘home’ HIE about an episode of care that occurred for a patient who lives in that home HIE’s region. This alert notifies the patient’s local healthcare providers that a care event has occurred outside of the patient’s primary care area.

“We are very excited to participate in the Heartland Project with other SHIEC members,” continued Sterling. “It will allow us to notify the patient’s home health information exchange that a patient living there was treated in the etHIN region. Knowing about medical events that occur outside their local area will allow the hometown physicians to build a more complete patient medical record, and thus, provide more informed care for their patients.”

The Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) recently announced that The Heartland Project, a partnership of The Health Collaborative and other SHIEC members, was a recipient of a Cooperative Agreement award as part of its High Impact Pilot program.

In addition to etHIN and The Health Collaborative, Heartland Project partners include HealthLINC in Bloomington, IN, Indiana Health Information Exchange (IHIE) in Indianapolis, IN, Michiana Health Information Network (MHIN) in South Bend, IN, Kentucky Health Information Exchange (KHIE) in Frankfort, KY, and Great Lakes Health Connect (GLHC) in Grand Rapids, MI.

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