The Department of Health Care Finance (DHCF) announces that the District has been awarded a Statewide Health Information Exchange (HIE) Planning Cooperative Agreement by the US Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology. The District’s project, “Connecting the Capitol Region: The District of Columbia’s Health Information Exchange,” is a collaboration between DHCF and the Department of Health to leverage current efforts to establish a seamless District-wide integrated interoperable HIE.
“Connecting the Capitol Region: The District of Columbia’s Health Information Exchange” is the first step in achieving the District’s ultimate goal of developing patient based health care records for all District residents, that can be accessed regardless of clinical setting.
Currently, the District has more than seven active or planned individual HIT initiatives, including the DC Regional Health Information Organization, the Children’s IQ Network, and the Patient Data Hub. By building upon existing HIE efforts, the District will be able to develop a system that will integrate health information in a cost-effective manner and promote coordination of care.
“This grant will allow the District to facilitate adoption of electronic health records to promote improved quality of care and health outcomes,” said Dr. Julie Hudman, Director of DHCF. “By bringing together public and private stakeholders we will further this.”
The District will immediately engage stakeholders across the region to develop strategic and operational plans for the creation of a seamless HIE. The District will begin developing its internal capabilities to support this effort and will engage outside contractors, as necessary, to meet the requirements of the grant.
This funding is part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), which was signed by the President on February 17, 2009. This statute includes The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act of 2009 (the HITECH Act), which sets forth a plan for advancing the appropriate use of health information technology to improve quality of care and establish a foundation for health care reform. The purpose of the funding is to advance appropriate and secure HIE across the health care system and continuously improve and expand HIE services over time to reach all health care providers in an effort to improve the quality and efficiency of health care.