2018: A Year to “Get Connected”

2017 has come to an end and we once again find ourselves presented with a new beginning full of opportunity and the mysteries of much unknown. For many, this wraps up a December that was abuzz with holiday hustle and bustle. For others, it has been more of a time to turn inward for contemplative meditation on the reason for this season and the changes it brings. Whatever may be going on in your life right now, we appreciate that you are taking this moment to connect with us at IHIN. 

The New Year is a fitting backdrop for our activities because, for IHIN, all things are new! As the new nonprofit steward of Iowa’s Health Information Exchange, we have brought in – as promised – a new IT platform (with Orion) that is the best Christmas present ever! We are already very busy onboarding new and current clients – and working behind the scenes on all the new and expanded services that will soon be available! 

Here’s what else is new at IHIN:

As you may be aware, the IHIN team has been working on an environmental scan of the healthcare eco-system in Iowa to support and guide our strategies moving forward in 2018. The scan was focused on five types of healthcare providers: 

  • Home Health
  • Long-Term Care
  • Hospice
  • Federally Qualified Health Centers and Rural Health Clinics
  • Assisted Living

As part of the environmental scan, we sent an online survey to virtually all providers in those specialties. We also conducted “Key Informant Interviews” ­– in-depth discussions with a smaller number of representative providers in each category.

These tactics were very successful and yielded a tremendous amount of data and insight. If you’re interested in viewing the results, please read the Executive Summary and/or actual data here [hyperlink]. We’d love to hear what you think!

Shoutout IconSpecial “SHOUT OUT” to the wonderful people at Mercy Hospital and Clinic in Centerville for serving as an outstanding pilot site for our Key Informant Interviews. They were great hosts and provided important information about how healthcare info exchange and care coordination is currently working in Iowa. They also helped us fine-tune our interview tool. Thank you to the good folks at Mercy Centerville!

Furthermore, we have added a very informative PowerPoint presentation (doesn’t everyone love PowerPoint?) that will give you an overview of what IHIN does, as well as a comprehensive overview of SWAN – the Statewide Alert Notification system that notifies healthcare providers to their patients’ unplanned Emergency Room visits and hospital admissions. We are pushing to get the word out on SWAN and looking for feedback on how to make it really work for providers! We are currently working to give more providers access to alerts so the associated doctors, nurse practitioners, care coordinators, health coaches and case managers are notified of their patients’ unexpected health events and can be proactive in providing care and services during these challenging transitions. The presentation won’t take long to review and may help clear up any questions.

All of us at IHIN wish you a very happy and productive New Year! Let’s “get connected” and work together to create real improvement in healthcare outcomes in Iowa in 2018.