Kansas health information exchange increases interoperability

The Kansas Health Information Network (KHIN) has announced that the state’s two largest health systems have successfully started sharing patient information across the exchange. The technology was provided by ICA, a company which takes the medical technology at the Vanderbuilt Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee and offers it to the broader market. The exchange is also a step forward for local adoption of new state requirements mandated by federal health care reform.

KHIN has recently upgraded its system to a new version of the ICA CareAlign® solution suite to include functionality to meet the Kansas-specific global opt-out policies and procedures. Since then, the state’s two largest providers in Wichita, Kansas, Via Christi Health Systems and HCA Wesley have successfully added clinical data to make information sharing easier. In essence, when a patient comes into any affiliated hospital or health care campus, medical staff will have ready access to their patient records, creating efficiencies and cutting down the possibility for error.

KHIN is a statewide health information exchange (HIE) initiative that includes both densely populated urban as well as rural areas in Kansas. The CareAlign platform serves all of Kansas including 130 hospitals and more than 4,500 physicians. KHIN is a provider-led and provider-governed health information exchange. KHIN covers approximately 83,000 square miles including frontier, rural and urban medical trading areas, making this effort one of the largest in the U.S.

Under federal health care reform requirements, states are working on implementing in addition to health insurance exchanges, health information exchanges which allow for electronic data transfer of clinical patent records. The US Department of Health and Human Services has been helping states foot the bill for these exchanges through a series of grant programs.