The Iowa Health Information Network joined forces with 15 health information organizations (HIOs) across the Midwest and Rocky Mountain states today in a move to address data exchange challenges across state lines.
The newly founded Mid-States Consortium of Health Information Organization’s primary goal is to advocate for more robust forms of health information exchange (HIE), such as query-based HIE, and ensure that health information appropriately follows patients that require health care services outside of their home town or home state. The group is also advocating for the unique needs of rural areas related to health information technology and HIE.
“Iowans traveling or living near state borders can look forward to designating or choosing to have their information securely and appropriately follow them to other health care providers outside of their hometown or outside of Iowa,” said Kim Norby, executive director of Iowa e-Health. “This is especially important when unexpected illnesses or accidents happen away from home and health care providers need access to your medical records.” Without such collaboration between states, sharing data between providers can be problematic because of differing data formatting standards, and sharing practices.
The Mid-States Consortium of HIOs will provide a venue through which HIOs can negotiate together with vendors and payers for products or services and advocate at the regional and national level for HIO-related issues. The Mid-States Consortium will provide the opportunity for HIOs to share knowledge, education and networking resources, and collaborate on funding opportunities where partnerships can be advantageous.
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Iowa e-Health, formed by the Iowa Department of Public Health, is a collaboration of consumers, health care providers, payers, and others to establish an electronic health information exchange for the state of Iowa. The Iowa HIE will allow participants to securely access vital patient health information throughout the state and beyond.