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When health information exchange (HIE) first came onto the healthcare scene more than a decade ago, delivering a continuity of care document (CCD) at the point of care was a huge win. It signified a great advance in improving the fractured, encumbered handling of patient data in the delivery of care.

Today, while healthcare data exchange has improved by leaps and bounds, HIEs face a new challenge—managing an incredible volume of healthcare information and organizing that information so it’s more quickly and easily filtered, sorted, accessed, and used by clinicians for patient care. Plus, now HIEs are being leveraged more than ever to support population health initiatives.

To address their current challenges, CEOs, directors, managers, and industry leaders throughout the United States gathered at the Strategic Health Information Exchange Collaborative (SHIEC) 2018 Conference in Atlanta, GA, this August.

NextGen Healthcare is proud to have been a gold-level sponsor of the conference.

In-person information exchange

The SHIEC mission is “to enable the secure exchange of patient information to improve the quality, coordination, and cost-effectiveness of healthcare locally, regionally, and nationally.” It represents more than 60 member-HIE organizations, making it the largest consortium of its kind in the U.S. The data exchange capabilities of its membership cover more than 200 million people across the United States.

My colleagues and I were fortunate to interact with many HIE leaders, especially during our time at the NextGen HealthCare booth in the Exhibit Hall. While there, we:

  • Updated attendees about new features of NextGen® Connected Health Solutions (formally Mirth®)
  • Demoed our soon-to-be-released NextGen® Health Data Hub—the next generation of the Mirth Results platform
  • Discussed potential new services and product features with attendees to better align our solution priorities with what they felt would best support their future success

Recognition of achievement

In addition, several members were recognized for their contributions to healthcare and health information exchange:

  • Advocacy and Government Relations award - Utah Health Information Network
  • Community Partnership award - Health Current
  • Quality and Quality Data award - HealthShare Exchange of Southeastern Pennsylvania
  • Chairman’s award - Dick Thompson, CEO and Executive Director at the Quality Health Network
  • Leadership Award - Angie Bass, CEO, Missouri Health Connection
  • Innovation award - Indiana Health Information Exchange

It was great to celebrate the contributions of these community leaders. While we of course congratulate all the winners, we were proud to see that many of the awardees use NextGen® products and services to support their organization’s goals.

The path forward

I left the conference feeling energized and optimistic, but with a realistic perspective. Considering the different components needed to deliver a comprehensive data-exchange solution, NextGen Healthcare and other conference participants are taking the right approach.

This doesn’t mean that by tomorrow we will have a plug-and-play solution that removes all the challenges facing healthcare data exchange. However, I do see a path forward to addressing these challenges.

This path forward lies in combining the dedication of HIEs who attended the SHIEC 2018 conference with our commitment to solutions improvement. Through our work together, we will provide all stakeholders with better tools to communicate, exchange data, and use the information that has been exchanged—regardless of platform, application, or application vendor.

I’m already looking forward to next year’s conference.

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