NASHVILLE, Tenn.--()--A new initiative called “Health eShare” was unveiled to improve healthcare by encouraging adoption of health information exchange (HIE) between healthcare providers in Tennessee. Qsource, a Tennessee-based nonprofit healthcare quality improvement and information technology company, is working with the Tennessee Office of eHealth Initiatives to implement and support Health eShare.
“Health eShare will be the driving force that helps Tennesseans embrace Direct and other technology that facilitates secure health information exchange”
The initial venture is the Health eShare Direct Project, which urges providers to adopt a technology called Direct to securely transmit electronic health information. Direct is a secure email-like service that allows physicians, healthcare professionals, clinical labs, patients and public health departments to send and receive encrypted electronic medical health information to each other.
Qsource is encouraging the adoption of Direct by providing education, outreach and technical assistance to interested healthcare professionals and their support staffs. Providers interested in using Direct or learning more about it can visit www.HealtheShareTN.com to understand benefits or sign up for Direct after completing a short survey.
“Health eShare will be the driving force that helps Tennesseans embrace Direct and other technology that facilitates secure health information exchange,” said Dawn FitzGerald, chief executive officer of Qsource. “Transmitting health information electronically can reduce clerical errors and provide a full picture of a patient’s status for all involved in the continuum of care. It’s imperative that everyone in Tennessee rally around Health eShare Direct Project as an effective way to improve healthcare.”
Using Direct to securely and immediately deliver health information has many benefits. Physicians and hospitals can increase efficiency and lower their costs. Providers can reliably send orders to labs and receive results in a structured format. The required workload at physicians’ offices can decrease by streamlining treatment authorization processes, simplifying reporting requirements to Medicare and other payers and improving communication between patient care teams.
Qsource has engaged several Tennessee communities—including providers in Hickman County, Memphis and Chattanooga—in using Direct to demonstrate its effectiveness to other providers. It anticipates unveiling a state-wide HIE initiative by the end of the year.
“Direct offers secure delivery of health information for immediate use,” said Jennifer McAnally, director of tnREC, Tennessee’s regional extension center for health information technology. “Exchange of paper records is slow, expensive and inadequate for quality care. Plus, traditional email and phone call exchanges may violate HIPAA requirements. Instead of fax, phone or hand delivery, Direct makes this exchange as easy as writing an email, but with guaranteed security.”
Additionally, providers who use Direct will qualify for Meaningful Use Stage 2 under the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ EHR incentive program. Meaning, providers and hospitals can receive payments since they’re providing access to various healthcare data sources and offering data exchange at transitions of care.
Two leading technology vendors—ICA and Cerner—will provide the technology that enables Direct. Both are recognized by DirectTrust.org, a national non-profit industry group dedicated to secure HIE.
Additionally, Dennison Tombras and Seigenthaler Public Relations are supporting the marketing and public relations efforts for Health eShare.
Qsource is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) healthcare quality improvement and information technology consultancy headquartered in Tennessee since 1973. Qsource provides a wide range of expert services to assist organizations and providers in improving healthcare quality and delivery with better patient outcomes and cost savings. Qsource services are offered through our Divisions/Subsidiaries/Affiliates, Tools & Resources, and associates staffing offices in Memphis, Nashville and Knoxville, Tenn., as well as Little Rock, Ark. For more information, please visit www.qsource.org.
About the Office of eHealth
The mission of the Tennessee Office of eHealth Initiatives (OeHI) is to facilitate improvements in Tennessee’s health care quality, safety, transparency, efficiency, and cost effectiveness through statewide adoption and use of electronic health records (EHR) and health information exchange (HIE). OeHI received grant funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) to support this Direct Project and other projects to implement secure health information exchange. Through these stimulus funds, ARRA enables Tennessee the opportunity to advance the secure exchange of health information and to expand the adoption and Meaningful Use of EHRs and HIE. For more information, please visit http://www.tn.gov/ehealth/.