Economics Driving Innovation in HIE and Taking Advantage of Opportunities at HIMSS

Economics Driving Innovation in HIE

In my opinion, the challenges currently facing health information exchange are more economic than technical. Sure, there are issues with standard specificity and issues with vendors, but I think that the economics of stakeholder viability in a Fee-for-Value world will force solutions very quickly. If the existing solutions aren’t quick enough in addressing these problems, innovators will develop effective and lower cost methods of exchange. I do think the analogy of mainframe computers being replaced by distributed processing in finance and manufacturing in the 1980’s is relevant to healthcare today. MACRA is an important step in changing the economics of the industry to being very much data and measurement driven, and economics drive technological innovation.

Taking Advantage of Opportunities at HIMSS

I owe a lot to HIMSS. HIMSS has provided me an opportunity to be in the middle of a myriad of health innovation activities. As an educator, this has helped both me and my students immeasurably. As a researcher, my involvement with HIMSS has provided knowledge and professionals networks that have allowed me to be part of research teams addressing some of the most critical issues facing healthcare today.

My engagement with HIMSS began as a member when I first started working on Healthcare projects about 12 years ago. I became more involved as part of research teams publishing peer-reviewed articles in HIMSS Journals and having presentations accepted at annual conferences. I responded to a call for applications for members to the HIE Committee and was pleasantly surprised when selected. I have continued to be involved in HIMSS Committees and Communities for the last 5+ years.  It is not only service, but this involvement provides the opportunity to work with an incredibly capable HIMSS staff and other volunteers who are national experts. Through HIMSS, I learn a tremendous amount of information that I use every day, and I have an extensive network of colleagues to call upon and to mutually support.

I am the Director of the Graduate Program of Health Informatics at Northern Kentucky University (NKU), and I also am involved in various research projects with the federal government and several states. NKU is located a few miles from downtown Cincinnati, and the region has been at the forefront of Health IT and innovation for the last 3 decades. I have been the Chair of the Business Development & Finance Committee for the Kentucky Health Information Exchange since the its inception. KHIE has more than 1,300 locations submitting data on the statewide network and 878 Participation Agreements.


About the Contributor

Dr. Gary Ozanich is Director of the Graduate Program in Health Informatics and Associate Director for Research for the Health Innovations Center at Northern Kentucky University. He also is a Senior Consultant for HealthTech Solutions. Gary is the past Chair of the HIMSS HIE Committee (2014), and is the current Co- Chair of the HIMSS Interoperability and Health Information Exchange Community Roundtable. He has conducted extensive funded research and consulting projects on health information exchange structure, interoperability, services, and sustainability, as well as projects examining care coordination and transitions in care.  He is a frequent speaker at national conferences and webinars. His private sector background includes more than 12 years as a Vice President on Wall Street where he was an analyst of the technology and telecommunications industries. Relative to academic positions, he was Associate Director of the Institute of Tele-Information at Columbia University, and has been on the faculties of Michigan State University and University at Buffalo. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.