Our first HIE and Public Health panel featuring leaders from across the country!

On March 5, 2021, Connecting for Better Health kicked off a virtual panel series highlighting the impact that a statewide HIE network would have on California’s healthcare landscape. The first event HIEs and Public Health, and included success stories. The full summary of the panel is available here, and the video of the panel presentation is available here.

The panel was moderated by Carladenise Edwards, EVP and CSO of Henry Ford Health System. David Horrocks, CEO of Chesapeake Region Information System for Our Patients (CRISP), Melissa Kotrys, CEO of Health Current, and Claudia Williams, CEO of Manifest MedEx, joined Edwards to discuss how health information exchange networks are successfully partnering with public health departments.

Mr. Horrocks walked through a demonstration of the robust data CRISP has collected — including county-by-county data on COVID cases. As Horrocks said, “With this data we can see how practices are doing on COVID vaccinations [by] age, within their own practices… and whether there are disparities within the practice.”

Melissa Kotrys of Arizona’s Health Current gave an overview of the statewide HIE– which now includes 858 unique participants. Kotrys noted Health Current has accumulated important health data on over 12 million Arizona patients, and delivers over 10 million health alerts each month. Kotrys also discussed how the Health Current HIE takes in data from discrete sources, such as hospitals, labs, and private practices, and is able to distribute this information to public health systems, such as Electronic Lab Reporting or the state’s surge line, which facilitated transfers of patients during the last  two COVID surges in Arizona. 

Lastly, Claudia Williams discussed Manifest MedEx’s work to build a data network in California, connecting over 120 California hospitals, carrying 25 million longitudinal patient records, and delivering 500,000 ADT messages monthly. Williams discussed in particular Manifest MedEx’s work with its HIO partners in Riverside County, where it utilized its claims and clinical data to help the county identify thousands of patients at high risk for COVID complications. Their contact data was used to support prevention and vaccination outreach efforts to these residents.

Our speakers’ discussion offers a number of policy recommendations for California in its pursuit of building a statewide health information exchange network. These include:

  • Establish a leadership role for the state government
  • Keep the needs of the patient front and center
  • Incentivize participation in HIE
  • Take a comprehensive view of the type of data that should be shared
  • Review restrictive state laws and policies that inhibit data sharing

Stay tuned for summaries of future panel events — such as the second HIE and Public Health panel on April 28, featuring moderator Hector Rodriguez, Professor, UC Berkeley, Director, California Institute for Health Equity and Action, Alice Chen, CMO, Covered California, and Rhonda Smith, Executive Director, California Black Health Network.


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