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Two Ohio physician practices have successfully tested sending immunization data to the state health department from their electronic health records through HealthBridge and the Greater Dayton Area Health Information Network, both health information exchanges.
The Dayton exchange is a member of HealthBridge, which leads the Greater Cincinnati Beacon Collaboration, one of 17 health IT model communities funded by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT.
Beacon communities strengthen local health IT infrastructure and pilot innovative methods to improve quality, cost and population health.
The Ohio Department of Health has established a statewide immunization registry, ImpactSIIS, an interactive system that administers, delivers and tracks vaccinations in the state. The registry is then made available to medical providers to make certain that children and adults are fully vaccinated and that immunizations are not duplicated unnecessarily.
Most of the information sharing in the Cincinnati and Dayton area has been among providers. With this pilot, HealthBridge and the Dayton exchanges can assist providers to connect to state agencies to meet various state and federal requirements, according to an Aug. 17 announcement by the exchanges.
While providers are increasingly adopting EHRs to replace paper records and improve care, “EHR systems also enable the exchange of health data electronically with government agencies, helping practices to be more efficient and accomplish multiple goals with the technologies they use,” said David Groves, HealthBridge vice president.
This pilot is an effort to advance public health through the expanded use of health IT and capture an accurate picture of a child’s immunization status, said Dr. Ted Wymyslo, Ohio public health director.
“We need our state information technology system to communicate with provider electronic health records,” he said. Meaningful use calls for the capability and testing to submit electronic data to immunization registries or immunization information systems, such as ImpactSIIS.
HealthBridge worked with the state on the pilot to transmit immunization data from a provider’s EHR to ImpactSIIS using a health information exchange. Currently, providers must record the patient’s immunization data into their EHR and then separately document the same information into the online ImpactSIIS portal.
The newly developed process will streamline the system, reduce duplication of effort and ensure quick access to up-to-date immunization records.
The pilot demonstrated that incoming electronic immunization information from the practice’s EHR could be processed and routed by HealthBridge into the state “data hub” and then distributed to Ohio’s ImpactSIIS.
Two primary care practices – Family Physicians of Urbana, using the Dayton HIE, and Reading Family Medicine in Cincinnati using HealthBridge-- successfully tested the process by sending immunization records from their practice’s EHRs to ImpactSIIS during the pilot’s testing phase.