Over the last several weeks, the five-county Philadelphia area took an historic step toward a future of universally available patient-care information when physician practices at two major healthcare providers became the first to use the new HealthShare Exchange of Southeastern Pennsylvania (HSX) to electronically transmit important documents affecting patient care.
Patient Care To Be Enhanced by SE Pa.-Wide Health Information Exchange
In December 2013, the University of Pennsylvania Health System (UPHS) directly and securely sent a patient-care clinical summary (in this case, a CCD or Continuity of Care Document) from the office of UPHS internist Susan Day, MD, to the office of internist Karen S. Scoles, MD, of Crozer-Keystone Health System. With HSX facilitating the exchange, the Crozer practice also sent a test CCD electronically over the new platform. Successful test transmissions between physician offices continued through last week. The transmission of these CCD’s is a precursor to the steps needed to share actual patient referral records.
In collaboration with its IT partner, Alere Accountable Care Solutions (ACS), HSX made the exchange possible by establishing secure messaging connectivity. Such private, standardized routing of patient information between regional hospital health systems with different electronic health record (EHR) platforms has not been possible in the Delaware Valley prior to this first step in activating the region’s new health information exchange (HIE).
“HealthShare Exchange of Southeastern Pennsylvania will be a key asset in coordinating the care of individuals in the population cared for by Crozer-Keystone physicians. We are proud to be able to continue our leadership in the field of information technology and participate as an early adopter of this innovation.” said Dr. Scoles.
“It is crucial in today’s complex health care delivery system to be able to quickly, easily, and securely share essential patient information between different providers,” said Michael Restuccia, Vice President and Chief Information Officer for the University of Pennsylvania Health System. “We are excited to play a role in pioneering this new model with our partners at HealthShare and Crozer-Keystone.”
As a collaboration of healthcare networks and insurers in Southeastern Pennsylvania, HSX is creating a secure information technology network that will make real-time patient information available to medical and payer participants — with the goal of fundamentally improving patient care. As a nonprofit business component of this process, HSX serves as a conduit for patient health information transfer. In the recent exchange, Alere ACS helped to successfully coordinate network connectivity between two health system organizations with different EHRs.
“This is a banner day for the future of healthcare in our region, as we begin clinical information sharing across Southeastern Pennsylvania through our region’s own medical information exchange,” said Martin Lupinetti, Executive Director of HSX, the membership of which includes major health plans and most of the community and tertiary-care hospitals in the greater Philadelphia area. More member insurers and health systems are expected to come online this year with additional applications of the health information exchange.
The recent transfers by the two Delaware Valley health systems used the national Direct Project messaging protocol for electronic medical record transmission. In the near future, health systems, insurers, and physician offices will also have the ability to submit and query clinical information on a patient directly to or from the exchange system from the point of care, in a manner integrated with the electronic medical record — a capability that will improve coordination and reduce costs for healthcare across the region. HealthShare Exchange of Southeastern Pennsylvania will accomplish this via HIPAA-compliant data transfer that will ensure information protection and confidentiality.
Contact: Russ Allen 215 990-9628
HealthShare Exchange of Southeastern Pennsylvania, Inc. (HSX) is the health information organization that will plan, develop, implement, and operate the regional health information exchange (HIE) for the five-county region of Southeastern Pennsylvania. Incorporated as a not-for-profit organization, HSX was formed as a collaboration among major healthcare stakeholders, including health plans and acute-care hospitals across Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia counties to enable the electronic exchange of patient information to improve patient outcomes and to manage and lower healthcare costs. For more information, visit www.hsxsepa.org.
Alere Accountable Care Solutions, a subsidiary of Alere Inc., delivers health information solutions that help provider organizations meet CMS Meaningful Use and Accountable Care requirements, achieve Triple Aim, and improve care coordination across the healthcare continuum. The Alere ACS portfolio of interoperable health information solutions has been the confident choice of doctors across the U.S. For more information, visit www.alereacs.com.
Penn Medicine is one of the world's leading academic medical centers, dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and excellence in patient care. Penn Medicine consists of the Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (founded in 1765 as the nation's first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System, which together form a $4.3 billion enterprise. For more information, visit www.uphs.upenn.edu.
Crozer-Keystone Health System is a Delaware County, Pa.-based hospital system headquartered in Springfield Township. Located minutes from Philadelphia, Crozer-Keystone is the largest provider of health care in Delaware County, Pennsylvania, northern Delaware, and part of western New Jersey. The health system comprises five hospitals and a comprehensive physician network of primary care and specialty practices. For more information, www.crozerkeystone.org