Health Information Exchange Deal Boosts Interstate Interoperability

By Christopher Jason

– The University of Missouri (MU) Tiger Institute Health Alliance (TIHA) announced a partnership with the Lewis And Clark Information Exchange (LACIE), an HIE with more than 30 members throughout Missouri and Kansas, aiming to expand interoperability and patient data exchange across Missouri and Kansas.

Through this partnership, TIHA will provide technology and support services for LACIE, which intends to create a deeper and more efficient collaboration between the two networks to enhance patient care across the two states.  

“Tiger Institute and LACIE have enjoyed a long history of collaboration and trust that has allowed us to establish this unique relationship,” Michael Seda, senior director of regional operations for the Tiger Institute, said in a statement. “It will benefit patients across the region and improve our ability to meet the rapidly evolving HIE needs of our members and partners.”

The partnership also aims to enhance interoperability between health facilities, which are currently connected to the Tiger Institute Health Alliance Health Information Exchange (HIE) and LACIE members. The TIHA HIE connects major cities in Missouri, such as Columbia and Jefferson City.

TIHA noted the increased importance of patient data exchange and interoperability during COVID-19. The pandemic has made it clear that health data needs to follow patients who need treatment at different health facilities.

“Seamless access to a patient’s medical records from across the care continuum is not only critical in providing the most efficient and highest quality care possible but also an expectation from our patients,” Tom Selva, MD, medical director of the Tiger Institute and chief medical information officer for MU Health Care, said in a statement.

“This new partnership elevates the coordination of care across premier tertiary providers such as MU Health Care, KU Medical Center, Children’s Mercy, and Truman Medical Centers and community hospitals and providers.”

As a result of the partnership, more healthcare facilities will be able to access patient medical records, including rural areas when patients need to visit specialists at larger hospitals.

Increased interoperability reduces patient and administrative burden, and it gives the patient a variety of options to receive care. Connected providers will have a real-time medical history and patient data that promotes quicker and more reliable patient care, the HIEs said.

“LACIE is excited to embark with the Tiger Institute Health Alliance to bring economies of scale and operating efficiencies while maintaining attractive price points to all of our participants,” said Mike Dittemore, RN, executive director of LACIE.

Both LACIE and TIHA workflows leverage the Cerner EHR.

“Tiger-LACIE collaboration helps improve patient care across Missouri and Kansas,” Kashif Rathore, vice president of Interoperability at Cerner, said in a statement. “The interoperability between these two organizations can help providers drive more efficient and effective care for patients. No matter the system or care venue, patients in the network will be able to access their health information through a more seamless experience between providers.”

TIHA is a division of the Tiger Institute for Health Innovation, which is a collaboration of health organizations in Missouri that aims to improve patient care, efficiency, and interoperability. The group intends to provide access to new health innovations, leverage the most advanced health information technology, and provide future opportunities for healthcare organizations in the state.

“LACIE is focused on providing robust connections between participants that allow providers to have the data they need, when they need it to develop treatment plans with their patients,” said Greg Ator, MD, chief medical information officer for the University of Kansas Healthcare System and chair of the LACIE Board of Directors.

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