A Health Information Exchange Organization Developed by Healthcare Providers for Healthcare Providers
Springfield area healthcare CEOs began meeting in 2008 to discuss collaborating on the establishment and operation of a health information exchange that would have the potential to positively impact patient care by:
- Improving transitions between providers and settings;
- Avoiding duplication of testing and services
- Improving hospital and clinic workflows and efficiencies; and
- Providing timely, accurate, and more reliable exchange of clinical information through a shared technology infrastructure.
In July 2009, the Office of Health Information Technology awarded the Mid-Illinois Medical District and the Blessing Health System of Quincy $176,000 planning grants to assure the rapid and effective planning for the implementation of HIE projects across the state. Springfield and Quincy area stakeholders used the funding to assess the clinical information exchange needs of area healthcare providers.
The study found that regardless of the extent of electronic healthcare record deployment the communication of orders, results, referrals, and transitions of care between healthcare providers is:
- Largely paper-based and requires multiple phone calls to chase information;
- Creates a significant administrative burden;
- Impacts patient care and physician and patient satisfaction due to delays and miscommunication between providers;
- is costly from the staff time associated with inefficient communications; and
- increases the likelihood of duplicate testing
Healthcare organizations participating in the study included three large hospitals, six critical access hospitals, two rural community hospitals, multiple rural health clinics, the Federally Qualified Health Center in Springfield, long term care facilities, a home health provider, and several primary care and multi-specialty clinics in the region. Across these organizations, more than 50 clinical departments 150 individuals participated to help determine how to improve the efficiency, effectiveness, and reliability of healthcare information exchange.
The founding organizations - Blessing Health System of Quincy, and Hospital Sisters Health System, Memorial Health System, SIU HealthCare and Springfield Clinic, along with Prairie Cardiovascular, all based in Springfield - formally established the Lincoln Land Health Information Exchange (LLHIE) as a limited liability company in August 2011 and selected Medicity Inc., based in Salt Lake City, to provide the technology that will allow the secure exchange of medical data.