The National Coordinator for Health IT Shares Perspective on the Future of HIEs

The National Coordinator for Health IT Shares Perspective on the Future of HIEs

actionable data

“It’s not just about having data to do the analysis. It’s about having actionable data that helps build outcomes. This is where the HIEs come in.”
-Micky Tripathi, National Coordinator for Health Information Technology

After years of progress in interoperability, Health Information Exchanges (HIEs) are aligned to support the requirements put on health care organizations moving forward in value-based care.

This was the message conveyed from Micky Tripathi, the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, at the 2021 SHIEC Annual Conference. He said that the combination of policy, process and technology give HIEs unique positioning to address the growing needs, as exemplified by HIEs swift response during the COVID-19 public health emergency.

“A lot has been predicted over years about the future of HIEs, but the primary thing would be that organizations continue to evolve because everything is dynamic including tech, health businesses, policies, and the ecosystem” said Tripathi. ONC has seen significant progress in what looked like a daunting task all these years to effectively adopt technology, and Tripathi believes the by-product of it, health data, will be the driving force of the future of health care. Here’s his take on how HIEs can contribute to it.

The What and Why of the 21st Century Cures Act

The 21st Century Cures Act establishes a regulatory framework to implement the Information Blocking Rule which aims to empower patients through access to their health records.

Instead of “information blocking,” let’s call it “information sharing” – a term that more accurately describes the opportunity in the industry.
-Micky Tripathi

Information blocking is a practice that discourages the exchange, access, and usage of Electronic Health Information. The rule applies to three major players – Healthcare providers, Certified Health IT, and HIEs – with the assumption that every actor is guilty until proven innocent.

How HIEs are Positioned to Support the Rule and the Evolving National Needs

  1. Data Mining: ONC introduced its new Information Blocking Rule that requires HIEs to block unnecessary data from being transmitted into or out of an organization’s system if that information could cause harm to the patient or recipient. While this may seem straightforward, it can be tricky to figure out exactly what type of data falls into this category and how a HIE can stay compliant for themselves and its members. This is where data mining can help – and talk about timely! Listen to our data mining presentation where the day after Tripathi’s speech, at the same conference, we presented with our client on how we used a big data mining approach to support compliance with the Information Blocking Rule.

  2. Value-Based Care: Tripathi’s statement “Be the incubator and deliver value that people appreciate”conveys a powerful message to HIEs and the need for innovation to create more affordable, high-quality systems of care. He highlights how one of the more important things you can do to start moving to value-based care is to reduce unnecessary costs – a use case that HIEs continue to prove they are aligned to support by advancing initiatives that avoid unnecessary tests, treatments, and other low value services.

  3. Building Robust Relationships with Public Health: It goes without saying that “HIEs have played a critical role in filling the gaps in public health”stated Tripathi. He further shared that ONC is currently collaborating with the CDC to connect more agencies to HIEs to eventually improve the concept and implementation of public health. One of the key examples that was shared was how HIEs reduce inefficiencies around disease surveillance reporting to improve the efficiency of emergency response.

The future of HIEs will be about dynamic business models at the intersection of policy, technology, and process to further interoperability networks to address the industry issues.  When moving to use cases beyond the Community Health Record, some HIEs may need additional services to help evolve with the needs – this is where KPI Ninja comes in by your side to help meet the demands being asked of your members, all from a centralized location – Ninja Universe.


Renee Towne

About the Author
Renee Towne
Director of Quality Programs at KPI Ninja, Inc.
Renee provides operational leadership of quality initiatives at KPI Ninja. Towne has a background in occupational therapy, education and experience in operational excellence across a variety of healthcare domains. Based on prior experience as a clinician that drove outcomes patient by patient, she is leaving a larger footprint by improving health care more comprehensively, population by population.

About KPI Ninja
KPI Ninja is a data analytics company that helps healthcare organizations accelerate their quality, safety, and financial goals with a unique combination of software and service. We are differentiated by our signature mix of technology, performance management consulting and healthcare expertise. We don’t merely offer software solutions but work shoulder to shoulder with clients to help them draw on the power of analytics and continuous improvement methodologies to become more efficient. In harmony with our data-centered ethos, we truly believe that our success is strongly co-related with yours.


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