MultiCare Connected Care (MCC) rolled out the first phase of its new health information exchange (HIE) in January, linking the medical records of an initial group of 1,248 providers.
Unfortunately, the project came to a halt in April when Sandlot Solutions, the vendor chosen to implement the HIE, went out of business. At that point, HIE functionality stopped for the providers already linked, and we paused the project to establish next steps.
Securely past square one
The good news is that none of the work already completed by Sandlot will be wasted, says Dr. Zak Ramadan-Jradi, Executive Director of MCC. Because the code behind the HIE interface created for the initial group of providers isn‘t vendor specific, it can simply be reactivated by a new vendor.
Once the new vendor begins work, functionality can be quickly restored to the initial group of providers without having to rework the existing code or rebuild the interface.
"MCC has prioritized finding a new HIE vendor," says Dr. Ramadan-Jradi, "and is currently in the process of evaluating several candidates before making a final decision."
New project schedule
MCC anticipates selecting a vendor this month, with project implementation expected to kick off by mid-June. Full project implementation should last at least a year.
MCC will prioritize connecting adult and pediatric primary care providers within the MCCN network, as well as certain specialists, and then move on to ancillary providers.
Supporting providers throughout the rollout
MCC plans to support all providers throughout the rollout by working with each provider's own electronic medical record (EMR) vendor to ensure proper functionality and connectivity.
"A health information exchange is a very important pillar for an accountable care organization or a clinically integrated network to be successful, to be fully integrated and to ensure that providers are talking to each other," says Dr. Ramadan-Jradi. "All MultiCare Connected Care Network providers will be able to access the system regardless of their EMR, and subsidies will be available if fees are required by their EMR vendor."