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Under such circumstances, the health care industry needs a robust communication system that can facilitate seamless communication among health care providers, organizations, and payers. Catering to this crucial need is HIE Networks, a health care technology and communications company. It develops and delivers a comprehensive suite of communication tools that facilitate health care information exchange and improve workflow and health care delivery efficiency.
In a conversation with CIO Applications, Sandy Phillips, the CIO of HIE Networks, states how the company is at the helm of utilizing its experience and expertise to bridge the gap in health care delivery with its robust communication suite.
Please tell our readers about HIE Networks.
We are a private regional health information exchange with its roots in a government-sponsored regional health information organization. We today serve as a leading health information exchange (HIE) service provider and create efficient, effective, and sustainable health information networks at local and regional levels. With the mission to facilitate health care delivery, we provide health care organizations with a comprehensive suite of communication tools that enable secure and HIPAA-compliant information exchange across disparate EMRs.
Our solutions help clients streamline their health care communications by providing physicians, hospitals, pharmacies, labs, and other clinical entities timely access to health care data in a cost-effective manner. As a result, clients can facilitate their workflow, fill the gaps in clinical delivery, and increase patient satisfaction by avoiding duplicative testing and unnecessary medical expenses. Simply put, our solution helps doctors get access to patients’ previous medical records, enabling them to make quick decisions on further treatment measures.
Could you elaborate on HIE Networks’ suite of communication tools?
In terms of solutions, what we have is more a process than a product that ensures a secure and rapid health care data communication to streamline our clients’ workflow. We have developed a web portal that allows clients to manage their workflow and handle job queues as well as different communication methods to interact with various groups. We have recently introduced a desktop version of our solution, which stays in perfect sync with the web version. It allows clients to seamlessly add e-signature or take the faxes and split them into various pages that may need to go to different departments.
We are equipped with tools and infrastructure, efficient to handle technologies, and capable to deliver robust solutions to revolutionize the health care industry
Could you elaborate on the approach that HIE Networks adopts while integrating with clients?
As an initial step, we set up an interface between our system and clients’ EMR to facilitate the information exchange using HL7 standards. We work with network carriers to port our clients’ fax numbers into our system. We then deploy our solution—both web and desktop applications—into their ecosystem, set up accounts, and train them systematically to go about using our system. Once our solution is fully operational in the clients’ ecosystem, we deploy a team of workflow engineers who analyzes clients’ workflow and configure our tools to optimize the system’s performance. The entire process is generally performed in two months. However, during the Covid-19, we need to conduct several virtual meetings, which prolongs the whole process.
Could you give a case study that substantiates HIE Networks’ value proposition?
Such a client-centric approach forged with our expert team has enabled us to optimize the business operation of several health care entities. We collaborated with a hospital recently and helped them eliminate the hardships associated with their legacy interdepartmental communication system. Having fax as the only resort to transfer information, the client was struggling to manage their scheduling operations. The tasks of printing out an order, creating the patients’ H&P, sending it to both surgical scheduling and central registration, and getting back the responses became strenuous for their clinical team.
We helped them optimize their operations by deploying our robust suite of communication tools in their ecosystem. Our system helped the clinical team eliminate the need for creating physical documents and seamlessly share documents of any size among various departments. This enabled them to improve health care delivery by reducing operational time and associated complications. We also helped them reduce their overall expenses by almost 56 percent. To be more precise, our solution brought down their costs to $400,000, which was once more than $900,000 with legacy systems.
What does the future hold for HIE Networks?
Anticipating a significant hike in demand for health care communication systems, we have planned to expand our data handling capability to assist the medical community in dealing with data-intensive and complex regulatory and incentive programs, including a merit-based incentive payment system (MIPS). On the one hand, as a consulting firm, we intend to help clinicians improve their MIPS scores and get more incentives. On the other, by leveraging the power of data analytics, we are planning to predict clinicians’ interoperability and quality metrics. We are looking forward to helping our clients look at risk stratification on their patients and benchmark themselves against others to ensure the quality of health care delivery. Further, having access to huge volumes of patient information and the capability to seamlessly transfer it between various locations of care, we are planning to aid the Accountable Care Organization’s agenda of improving the quality of health care delivery. HIE Networks has also recently joined the eHealth Exchange, the country’s largest public-private health information network.
We are equipped with tools and infrastructure, efficient to handle technologies, and capable to deliver robust solutions to revolutionize the health care industry.