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Indiana Collaborative Receives $10.3 Million in Federal Stimulus Funds to Improve Healthcare through Information Technology
Date:3/15/2010

INDIANAPOLIS, March 15 /PRNewswire/ -- The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act's State Health Information Exchange Cooperative Agreement Program (CAP) announced the award today of a four-year, $10.3 million grant to the State of Indiana to further enhance the quality and reach of the state's existing health information technology delivery system to improve health outcomes for Hoosiers and reduce costs across the continuum of health care. The grant will be made to the state through a new state-chartered non-profit entity created for this program, Indiana Health Information Technology, Inc. (IHIT).

In October 2009, BioCrossroads spearheaded a collaborative effort among the State of Indiana and related state organizations, under Governor Mitch Daniels' leadership, and Indiana's five independent health information organizations (HIOs) that submitted an application to the federal government for stimulus funding to advance statewide the effective use of health information technology for the delivery of better patient care.  As a part of this application, IHIT was created to serve as a governance and contracting structure for extending health information technology networks to every corner of the state.  To accomplish this mission, IHIT will work with Indiana's robust private sector of HIOs, including:

  • Indiana Health Information Exchange (IHIE)
  • HealthLINC
  • MedWeb
  • Michiana Health Information Network (MHIN)
  • HealthBridge

"Improving the way we deliver and share vital patient information ultimately improves the quality, safety, and efficiency of patient care for all Hoosiers," said Indiana Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA) Secretary Anne Murphy.

"Indiana is really the nation's leader in using HIOs for the rapid deployment of electronic health information through our healthcare system.  Our efforts here will serve as a model for many other areas of the country, as the federal government mandates progress toward better health outcomes through the meaningful use of patient information," said David Johnson, President and CEO of BioCrossroads.  "And in true Hoosier fashion, we're achieving our best results by working together statewide for progress."

The four-year grant further advances Indiana's position as a leader in sustainable, secure, standards-based HIO, which securely sends clinical test results, reports and other medical information between physician groups, clinics and hospital networks. The grant allows IHIT to build upon this already firm foundation by enhancing the availability and adoption of these critical existing services to other, more rural areas of the state.

IHIT, in collaboration with the HIOs, will prioritize and develop work plans for the following key areas of focus:

  • Expanding the infrastructure statewide to add more connectivity and interoperability, especially in underserved areas
  • Establishing standard formats for the delivery of clinical messages so that communication between two entities in the statewide system can be sent and received seamlessly
  • Expanding electronic quality reporting, public health reporting, and other clinical summaries relevant to meaningful use guidelines
  • Developing a system that will identify patient records and match them to the specific individual's health information across all healthcare providers
  • Adopting nomenclature normalization based on national standards
  • Building a clinical repository with data from Medicaid patient records for better information on their patient populations
  • Creating a statewide shared healthcare provider directory

"We have a strategic roadmap to expand Indiana's already strong HIT efforts, and we have good momentum to move the project forward," said Indiana Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA) Secretary Anne Murphy. "Our board of directors has been established with representation from the key healthcare system stakeholders across the state to ensure the needs of patients, healthcare providers and other important participants are met."

"This has been a true collaborative effort, bringing together various organizations and companies around the state," said Mitch Roob, Indiana Secretary of Commerce and Chief Executive Officer of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation. "We're excited to put this funding to work, to build new opportunities and to create a stronger healthcare system."

In February, as part of the ARRA's HIT grants to "advance the adoption and meaningful use of HIT and train workers for the health care jobs of the future," the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services awarded Purdue $12 million to support the development of the university as a regional extension center for HIT. The university will use the grant funding to help health care providers adopt and use this technology, such as electronic health records and e-prescribing.

In addition, Ivy Tech received a U.S. Department of Labor award of $5 million which will allow the college and its partners to implement a statewide project to train unemployed and displaced workers for careers in IT, among other industries.  The program will train nearly 1,200 people for IT-related careers.

The Indianapolis Private Industry Council was awarded $4.8 million to help train 600 workers for careers in health care including nursing and allied health positions.

The Hoosier state boasts one of the strongest health IT sectors in the U.S.  Indiana's five HIOs exchange more than 6.3 million messages each month  - ranging from patient lab test results and X-rays to medication histories. Nearly 14,000 physicians statewide have access to patient records via the HIO networks, and more than 12 million patient records are securely housed within the HIOs.  To promote the state's collective assets and national leadership in HIT, BioCrossroads the Exibhit Indiana (Expanding Indiana's Breakthroughs in Health Information Technology) initiative is focused on advancing the development and effective use of HIT within Indiana and across the U.S. – www.exibhitindiana.com

About BioCrossroads

BioCrossroads (www.biocrossroads.com) is Indiana's initiative to grow, advance and invest in the life sciences, a public-private collaboration that supports the region's existing research and corporate strengths while encouraging new business development.   BioCrossroads provides money and support to life sciences businesses, launches new life sciences enterprises (Indiana Health Information Exchange, Fairbanks Institute for Healthy Communities, BioCrossroadsLINX, and Datalys Center), expands collaboration and partnerships among Indiana's life science institutions, promotes science education and markets Indiana's life sciences industry. 

SOURCE BioCrossroads

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