Fueling Public HIE With Business Tools And Standards

Tom Sullivan, | Government Health IT | July 1, 2014

Health information exchange technologies and business models among public health entities are in a state of flux. Yet the practice of HIE is going to be essential for public health departments to facilitate better care of individual and populations at a lower cost.  To that extent, healthcare groups unwrapped a toolbox to help public health departments better manage the business aspects of HIE, while a federal agency called on Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell to essentially institute a broader engagement strategy that drives real value in a public health system it would like to see become more federated.

“Health information exchange is a critical technology for public health,” said Seth Foldy, MD, principal of Seth Foldy Preventive Health Systems in a statement. “Healthcare providers and health departments exchange tens of millions of reports and documents yearly. These protect communities from disease outbreaks, prevent crippling disabilities in newborns, protect against identity fraud, and assess the health of communities and the effectiveness of population health programs.”

Foldy is the author of Public Health and HIE Toolkit, which the National Association of County and City Health Officials, NACCHO, created in collaboration with Government Health IT owner the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society.  Announced on Monday, the toolkit is designed to help health departments make better business and related decisions about health information exchange to ultimately bolster population health.  “The new Health Information Exchange (HIE) Toolkit for Public Health will allow local health departments to automatically receive and analyze electronic health data to identify diseases that affect our communities, and it will enable local health departments to improve public health surveillance and response to those diseases,” said Roland Gamache, senior director of informatics at NACCHO, in the announcement...