Wisconsin seeks plan for statewide HIE

State's health department solicits bids for consulting services to interconnect regional health information exchanges.

Wisconsin’s Health and Family Services Department has issued a request for proposals seeking consulting services to support its statewide health information exchange vision.The provider of consulting services will help the department and the governor’s eHealth Board complete a project to design “a model and architecture for a state-level HIE entity and state-level HIE business and technical services in Wisconsin,” according to the RFP.Bids are due July 21.The state aims to field a technical architecture to interconnect regional HIEs. The eHealth Board’s Information Exchange Workgroup recommended establishing three to five regional health information organizations for regional HIE. The RFP noted that the state has one established RHIO, the Wisconsin Health Information Exchange (WHIE). That RHIO represents nine southeastern counties, including Milwaukee County.Any state-level HIE technical applications and services must be able to use the Health Information Technology Standards Panel’s specifications for interoperability with WHIE, other RHIOs that develop in Wisconsin and the Nationwide Health Information Network, the RFP stated.Kim Pemble, WHIE executive director, said the procurement will assess the business and technology options for establishing state-level HIE activities. He said he believes WHIE’s work in southeastern Wisconsin represents “a viable model that could be part of that expanded state-level effort.”WHIE’s first exchange project is emergency department (ED) linking. The initial clinical use of ED linking took place earlier this year, allowing physicians in three Milwaukee-area hospitals to view patient admitting data provided by 11 health care facilities.ED linking marks the first implementation of Microsoft’s Amalga in a HIE business model, according to WHIE. Pemble said he expects Medicaid data to be available through the exchange in July.
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