Healthcare Technology Featured Article

March 19, 2010

Healthcare Technology and News: Indiana Awarded $10.3 Million Federal Grant for Better Healthcare

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act's State Health Information Exchange Cooperative Agreement Program unveiled the award of a four-year, $10.3 million grant to the state to further enhance the quality and reach of the state's existing health information technology delivery system to improve health outcomes.

The grant will be made to the state through a new state-chartered non-profit entity created for this program, Indiana Health Information Technology, Inc.

“Improving the way we deliver and share vital patient information ultimately improves the quality, safety, and efficiency of patient care for all Hoosiers,” said Indiana Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA) Secretary Anne Murphy. “We have a strategic roadmap to expand Indiana's already strong HIT efforts, and we have good momentum to move the project forward. Our board of directors has been established with representation from the key healthcare system stakeholders across the state to ensure the needs of patients, healthcare providers and other important participants are met."

In October 2009, BioCrossroads, a public-private collaboration that supports Indiana’s existing research and corporate strengths while encouraging new business development, spearheaded a collaborative effort for Indiana and related state organizations, under Governor Mitch Daniels' leadership, and Indiana's five independent health information organizations (HIOs): Indiana Health Information Exchange (IHIE), HealthLINC, MedWeb, MichianaHealth Information Network (MHIN), and HealthBridge.

“Indiana is really the nation's leader in using HIOs for the rapid deployment of electronic health information through our healthcare system. Our efforts here will serve as a model for many other areas of the country, as the federal government mandates progress toward better health outcomes through the meaningful use of patient information,” David Johnson, President and CEO of BioCrossroads said. “This has been a true collaborative effort, bringing together various organizations and companies around the state. We're excited to put this funding to work, to build new opportunities and to create a stronger healthcare system,” said Mitch Roob, Indiana Secretary of Commerce and CEO of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation.

IHIT, in collaboration with the HIOs, will prioritize and develop work plans for the following key areas of focus:

* Expanding the infrastructure state-wide to add more connectivity and interoperability, especially in underserved areas;

* Establishing standard formats for the delivery of clinical messages so that communication between two entities in the state-wide system can be sent and received seamlessly;

* Expanding electronic quality reporting, public health reporting, and other clinical summaries relevant to meaningful use guidelines;

* Developing a system that will identify patient records and match them to the specific individual's health information across all healthcare providers;

* Adopting nomenclature normalization based on national standards;

* Building a clinical repository with data from Medicaid patient records for better information on their patient populations;

* Creating a state-wide shared healthcare provider directory.


In addition, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration has awarded a $14.3 million grant to Education Networks of America (ENA), to build broadband infrastructure in Indiana to enable improved education, training and connectivity access opportunities for 145 of Indiana’s underserved schools and libraries.

Trupti Kamath is a contributing editor for HealthTechZone. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Marisa Torrieri

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