ND Health Information Exchange expands system’s footprint

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Categories: Coronavirus

North Dakota Health Information Exchange (HIE) director Shila Blend today announced that the state’s Health Information Network (HIN) has expanded its reach through the Patient Centered Data Home (PCDH) initiative. The PCDH effort broadens the health information exchange footprint across the region and nation, providing more seamless exchange of patient-centered data between and among providers.

NDHIN has completed technical testing with the Quality Health Network, the Western Hub of the PCDH. The Western Hub connects to the Central and Eastern Hubs through Regional Gateway Connections. There are 45 HIEs participating in PCDH across the nation, serving a population of 177 million with over one billion event notifications exchanged to date. 

The PCDH is a cost-effective, scalable method of exchanging patient data among HIEs nationally. It is based on a triggering episode alert, which notifies providers if a care event occurred outside of the patient’s home HIE and confirms the availability and specific location of the clinical data, enabling providers to initiate additional data exchanges to access real-time information across state and regional lines and the care continuum.

Key PCDH features include:

  • Provides a vehicle to close the loop and communicate seamlessly on care when a patient is seen outside their normal care area;
  • Enables nationwide access to patient information that follows the patient and facilitates better treatment;
  • Links existing communities of trust established by health information exchanges;
  • Preserves local governance and protects information.
  • Serves as a key element of the Strategic Health Information Exchange Collaborative that puts into practice the vision that clinical data should be available whenever and wherever care occurs. In this model, all clinical data becomes part of the comprehensive longitudinal patient record in the HIE where the patient resides.

The NDHIN team has also been at the center of North Dakota’s COVID-19 response efforts as a key ND Department of Health partner. The NDHIN system has the capability to notify medical professionals in real time when a patient is admitted or discharged from the hospital, presents at an emergency department or has an abnormal lab or radiology result. This information is helpful to public health case workers in coordinating a timely response to positive and negative COVID-19 testing.

About NDHIN:

The NDHIN is a public/private partnership that resides within North Dakota’s Information Technology (NDIT) department. Over the past decade, North Dakota has taken the concept of a statewide HIE from the drawing board to a functioning exchange. With initial funding from state appropriations and a federal ONC grant, NDHIN began operations in 2010 and currently has more than 240 signed participation agreements, representing 400+ locations/points of care across the state. A network model, statewide HIE, NDHIN provides value through a secure online network for electronic health information exchange, a robust patient data set, and an increasing number of connections among North Dakota hospitals, providers, and other related entities. 

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