December 2, 2014

State of Alabama
Press Release: Medicaid

New technology reduces providers’ connection time to state HIE

Recent changes to the state’s health information exchange (HIE) are now making it possible to connect providers in substantially less time than before, according to Bill Mixon, operations management consultant for One Health Record®.

Mixon’s report was in conjunction with the state’s HIE Commission on meeting on November 13. The commission provides oversight/guidance for the development and operation of One Health Record®.

“Under the previous technology platform, connections to One Health Record® normally took around 90 to 100 days,” he explained. “To overcome this obstacle, we purchased a new interface software engine that allows the HIE to successfully connect a clinic or hospital in less than one day.”

The interface software is provided by eTransX, a Tennessee-based company, Mixon said. He also described the new hybrid cloud solution which hosts the eTransX solution for commission members.

“With the capability of supporting hundreds of servers, the hybrid cloud solution will give the HIE the ability to grow on demand for the Agency’s planned Regional Care Organizations,” he explained, noting that approximately 1600 providers are expected to connect in the RCOs’ first two years of operation.

Mixon also announced the successful connection of the first cloud-based electronic health record system, MedConnect. MedConnect is a Montgomery-based company which has a total of about 500 individual clinics statewide. One Health Record® has already connected two of these clinics in the East Alabama pilot region. The project expects to connect approximately 20 clinics in the next few months.

In addition, the state is continuing to enroll participants in the HIE effort, he said. Currently 17 individual clinics and eight hospitals are participating in the interoperable or query-based system while 36 individual facilities and 255 individual users are using the HIE’s Direct Secure Messaging component.

Next steps for the project include work on a sustainability plan, ongoing efforts with vendors to connect to the eTransX interface and further development of outreach strategies emphasizing the value of the HIE to providers.

“It is not a simple decision to move into this arena,” Mixon said. “There are workflow issues and other issues that providers have to consider. We will work through the issues and stand with them throughout the process.”

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