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Health Information Partnership for Tennessee (HIP TN), which was convened three years ago to help the Volunteer State develop a statewide health information exchange, has decided to "wind down" operations.
The HIP TN Board voted June 15 to shutter the HIE after a meeting with state officials, according to HIP TN leadership.
[Related: The 3 truths of health data exchange.]
"Given the evolution of HIE across the country, HIP TN's board of directors decided the best step was to allow the state to operate from a clean slate," said Reginald Coopwood, MD, chairman of HIP TN's board. "We hope the work conducted thus far has been valuable and will provide insight if others plan to implement statewide HIE in the future."
Established in 2009, HIP TN's goal was to establish an HIE that would serve as a network of networks for regional health information organizations (RHIOs) statewide. Tennessee contracted with HIP TN to provide the infrastructure for the exchange.
HIP TN will no longer be responsible for implementing an intrastate HIE in Tennessee. Nonetheless, HIE efforts across the state will continue, officials say, with three RHIOs playing a role in health information exchange. These RHIOs are: MidSouth eHealth Alliance (MSeHA), Middle Tennessee eHealth Connect (MTeHC) and East Tennessee Health Information Network (etHIN). Meanwhile, the Tennessee Office of eHealth Initiatives is planning to spur broader use of Direct Project protocols for health information exchange.
"Hundreds of volunteers representing stakeholders from across the healthcare spectrum have contributed countless hours to identifying the healthcare information that needs to be exchanged, and developing policies and a framework to exchange that information," Coopwood said. "We're grateful for their hard work and dedication to HIE."
"The members of the HIP TN Board, and the organizations they represent, believe that secure health information exchange – in the form of electronic health records and other information – will benefit the quality of healthcare in Tennessee," he added. "The board's vision for a health information exchange network in Tennessee remains, and we hope that vision can be realized down the road."