Keeping Up With the Health Networks

To watch “Ted Lasso,” I need an Apple TV+ subscription.

For “The Mandalorian,” I need Disney+.

And to binge “Bridgerton,” I need Netflix.

That’s a lot of streaming subscriptions and entertainment providers for just three shows – and that still leaves out options from Max, Paramount Plus, and Peacock. A Deloitte Digital Medial Trends study said that average U.S. household has four steaming services—admittedly I align more with the 7% of Americans who have six or more, mainly due to my extreme FOMO.

Ultimately, I’m probably going to miss out on some of the popular shows. Who can keep up with that many accounts?

Healthcare data access can often feel the same way.

There is an abundance of network connection offerings, from electronic medical records providers (EMRs) to health information networks (HINs) to health information exchanges (HIEs). Each offers its own flavor of data exchange but none gives you all the data you want or need.

Still, the common belief among healthcare organizations and providers is that you only need one data network connection to ensure proper care for your patients.
We think this is a wrong approach.

Game of interoperability

Too frequently, I hear from providers that they are unable to access critical patient records through their systems or that the data they receive isn’t timely or in a user-friendly format. They also worry that changing health data interoperability partners could mean data they can access now will be unavailable.

Take Veterans’ Administration records, for example. Until recently, they were only available through eHealth Exchange. If you’re an Epic or eClinicalWorks user, you can access VA records… IF you have Carequality AND you have opted in to share at the facility level.

For a more local level example, take county jail records. They tend to be available only to those connected to their community HIE.

So, what do you do when you realize you aren’t getting everything with your connection of choice?

Much like in the streaming television world, some will simply connect to multiple services, such as their local HIE and EMR. Others may cut other services to be able to afford connecting to multiple services. .

But many small and regional providers cannot afford to participate in every network or exchange around. Many will opt for the “free” option their EMR provides—only to learn this one-size-fits-all, supportless add-on doesn’t deliver what they need.

At Centralis Health, we are working to simplify this access issue by providing a single connection with many end points.

Connecting local to national is the new black

We start at the community level, where most healthcare services take place, ensuring connectivity among small, local, and regional providers. We also connect to healthcare agencies outside the clinical setting, including public health, EMS, and social services.

Though our focus is local, we aren’t ignoring the national picture. Centralis Health participates in the eHealth Exchange, the largest HIE in the country, facilitating more than 21 billion health data transactions a year. And we continue to expand resources and enhance our services to better serve our participants.

Centralis is currently establishing connections with Carequality, a platform facilitating the exchange of over 400 million documents monthly. And we are opting in to TEFCA-based exchange through the eHealth Exchange, which was certified as one of the first Qualified Health Information Networks (QHINs).

These connections will allow Centralis participants to send data to two national-scale networks – and to query them, as well.

For providers, it’s like turning into your local public access TV station and being able to watch virtually any show on the big, expensive streaming networks.

Why community-based national exchange approach makes sense

  • If the cost savings aren’t enough to convince you, here are 6 more ways that connecting to a community HIE like Centralis serves your practice and your patients:
    Local Focus: Community exchanges are tailored to the specific needs and preferences of local populations. They can better understand the unique healthcare challenges and cultural nuances of their community, leading to more effective care delivery.
  • Faster Response Time: the majority of health data needs are local. For local providers, community exchanges often have quicker response times for data retrieval and sharing. This can be crucial in emergencies when timely access to patient information can save lives.
  • Enhanced Collaboration: Community exchanges foster collaboration between healthcare providers, community organizations, and other stakeholders. This can lead to more comprehensive care coordination and better health outcomes for patients.
  • Privacy and Security: Community-focused exchanges can offer tighter controls over data security and privacy than, say, certain EHRs that use data for their own enrichment. This can help alleviate concerns about unauthorized access to sensitive patient information.
  • Tailored Solutions: Community exchanges have the flexibility to implement customized solutions that address the specific needs of local healthcare providers and patients. This can result in more user-friendly interfaces and better integration with existing workflows.
  • Choice and Flexibility: Community exchanges often allow participants the flexibility to choose whether to share data nationally or keep it within the local network. This empowers healthcare providers to make informed decisions based on their specific circumstances, preferences, and the needs of their patient population. It ensures that data-sharing practices align with the values and priorities of the local community while still allowing for broader collaboration when necessary.

Put community exchange to work for your patients

Ready to seize the benefits nationwide exchange without the additional fees? If you’re in our service area, contact Centralis today.