Disaster Preparedness and Health IT
ONC Works with States to Develop Recommendations
In November 2010, ONC convened a group of southeastern states in an effort to improve the country’s ability to respond to disasters through the use of Health Information Exchange (HIE). The consortium included representatives from states at high risk for hurricanes: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas. The Southeast Regional HIT-HIE Collaboration (SERCH) project on Health Information Exchange in Disaster Preparedness and Response sought out to develop a strategic plan for sharing health information data among the Southeast and Gulf States during and following a declared natural disaster.
The final report from the project [PDF - 4.8MB] includes an actionable plan for incorporating HIE into disaster preparedness efforts. The phased approach suggested by the project supports immediate progress in the absence of routine, widespread HIE. It also addresses key legal, technical, and governance issues and offers a list of steps that States can take to align their HIE planning activities with ongoing emergency preparedness activities. A Buzz Blog post by Lee Stevens, ONC's State HIE Policy Office Director, discusses the report and its recommendations.
For more information on HIE, visit http://www.healthit.gov/policy-researchers-implementers/health-information-exchange-interoperability. Any questions, contact Lee Stevens at Lee.Stevens@hhs.gov.