To assist public health organizations better understand and use health information exchange, HIMSS and the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) have collaborated to produce the Public Health & HIE Toolkit.
View an infographic about how Public Health and HIE fit together.
“The first priority of local health departments is to make it easier for people to be healthy and safe. Health information technology increases the capacity of local health departments to be able to do that. The new Health Information Exchange (HIE) Toolkit for Public Health will allow local health departments to automatically receive and analyze electronic health data to identify diseases that affect our communities, and it will enable local health departments to improve public health surveillance and response to those diseases,” said Roland Gamache, Ph.D., MBA, Senior Director of Informatics at the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO). “NACCHO was pleased to collaborate with HIMSS on this important resource. We value the partnership role we play with HIE organizations.”
The Toolkit was developed to help public health departments understand:
•what HIE services are and what types of organizations providing them;
•how a health department might use or support such services; and
•how to assess whether the value of participating in HIE will be worthwhile.
“The Public Health & HIE Toolkit is the first of its kind, created to help users identify and put into context many of the HIE concepts, technologies and practices that will be important in the decision-making process when choosing their HIE solution,” said Joyce Sensmeier, MS, RN-BC, CPHIMS, FHIMSS, FAAN, vice president, Informatics, HIMSS.
Created to help orient HIE organizations (HIOs) to the functions of health departments, the Public Health & HIE Toolkit also explains the value of HIOs as customers and partners in HIE. The HIE Toolkit for Public Health, authored by Seth Foldy, MD MPH FAAFP, received assistance from NACCHO and HIMSS members. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) also supported the project.
“Health information exchange is a critical technology for public health. Healthcare providers and health departments exchange tens of millions of reports and documents yearly. These protect communities from disease outbreaks, prevent crippling disabilities in newborns, protect against identity fraud, and assess the health of communities and the effectiveness of population health programs,” said Foldy. “The toolkit acknowledges current flux in HIE technology and business models, and is designed to help health departments make sensible business decisions over time.”
HIE standardization and accreditation is still in the early stages of development; therefore, health departments need to fully comprehend options when assessing available HIE solutions.
“The Public Health & HIE Toolkit includes clear and concise organization and core information. The tools included in it will assist our department in analyzing HIE opportunities for risks and benefits; preparing recommendations for policy and resource allocation and developing needed data use agreements. I anticipate consulting the toolkit over the next few years, as we move toward health information exchange in our community,” said Kathy Cook, information and fiscal manager, Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department.
About HIMSS HIMSS is a global, cause-based, not-for-profit organization focused on better health through information technology (IT). HIMSS leads efforts to optimize health engagements and care outcomes using information technology.
HIMSS is a cause-based, global enterprise producing health IT thought leadership, education, events, market research and media services around the world. Founded in 1961, HIMSS encompasses more than 52,000 individuals, of which more than two-thirds work in healthcare provider, governmental and not-for-profit organizations across the globe, plus over 600 corporations and 250 not-for-profit partner organizations, that share this cause. HIMSS, headquartered in Chicago, serves the global health IT community with additional offices in the United States, Europe, and Asia.