HIMSS 2018 - A Nurse's Retrospective Part I


HIE - It’s Time to Share and Play Nice

Welcome to my blog with current thoughts on interoperability and data sharing.   A bit about myself as an integrated health care consumer;  a practicing nurse x 36 years, currently in a large Emergency Department, and IT consultant x 16 years, and a college professor x 4 years and a mother of 3 x 29 years.   Typically these professions intersect in a very complementary way.  Kind of like an integrated EMR delivery system.

After recently returning from HIMSS 2018, the leading health information and technology conference with a tag line of; WHERE THE WORLD CONNECTS FOR HEALTH.  I began processing many of the key themes.  This take away is focused on HIE.

Seema Verma, Administrator of the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), announced the launch of a new initiative called “MyHealthEData” aimed at revolutionizing the relationship of U.S Health Consumers and their patient data.   Additionally CMSAdministrator Verma warned about information blocking, announcing new agency initiatives aimed at promoting interoperability.

So there you have it, finally we are all going to play nice, and share relevant patient information.  In fact I get to share my own data.  But the reality within healthcare is far removed from the technology advancements and achievements.

If you want your flu vaccine or other titer information related to your immunization status, suggest you head down to HIM, aka Medical Records and fill out a Request of Information Form, ROI.  You should receive your results in about a week.

My student who during her second trimester of pregnancy, relocated due to her husbands employment, and her OB office, using a very well recognized, top of the line EMR vendor told her, to come to the office to receive a paper copy of her chart.

Despite the fact that I work at one facility and can receive reduced cost interventions like routine labs, Mammograms, etc my ability to “seamlessly” share my data with my provider, employed by another health care system is ZERO.

Add to this the 2018 HIMSS US Leadership and Workforce Survey, based on a poll of 224 health care providers and 145 vendor executives and consultants, showed that patient safety; privacy, security and cybersecurity; and process improvement, workflow, change management are the top three priorities of hospital-based health care IT leaders this year, while EHRs, and culture of care and care coordination were at the bottom of the list.

So while data sharing, data exchange is not a new concept, nor technologically constrained, the US healthcare institutions, have been slow to adapt, outside of their vendor walls!!  Be it MEDITECH, Cerner, Epic, all of which have advanced features to seamlessly transfer data, healthcare systems are slow to advance and engage in this service.   Even with some of our most aggressive and debilitating Public Health Emergencies; Mental Health and Opiod Abuse, there remains resistance to sharing between health care systems.   So until we together develop the true business case and demand, this will remain a conversation with federal focus.

Next time I will share what happens when we do have a strong business case for data sharing:   The announcement by IBM Watson connecting HomeCare to HealthCare – ClearCare, then onto a discussion on quality……  More soon …… 


Marcia Cheadle RN, Senior Director at Engage, is responsible for the implementation and integration of more than 30 advanced clinical, ambulatory EMR, and client server application programs. Her leadership has resulted in 85% of Engage clients achieving HIMSS Level 6 or 7 and completing more than 30 successful attestations for Meaningful Use. 


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