West Virginia Health Information Network (WVHIN)Provider HIE FAQsTransforming health care in West Virginia

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Provider HIE FAQs

If you are a health care provider considering participating in the WVHIN’s robust Health Information Exchange (HIE) service, you may have questions about what to expect during implementation, cost, etc. These questions and answers will help you understand more about the WVHIN’s HIE and what to expect as a participant in the HIE.

  1. What services are provided by the WVHIN’s Health Information Exchange (HIE)?
  2. What benefits will I receive by connecting to the HIE?
  3. How much will it cost me to connect to the WVHIN’s HIE?
  4. Will patient health information that I look up within the HIE be routed back into my EHR?
  5. Where is the data for the HIE stored?
  6. Beyond the technical, what else can I expect during implementation?
  7. Do I get to decide which patient health information I want to contribute to the repository (whether it be the WVHIN hosted repository or my repository)?
  8. How do I get started if I want to connect to the WVHIN’s HIE?
  9. I am planning to use the WVHIN’s HIE to meet Stage 2 Meaningful Use requirements which involve ongoing submission of reportable data to Public Health. How does this work from a functionality and auditing perspective?
  10. 10. What does it mean to be “live” on the WVHIN’s HIE?

1.  What services are provided by the WVHIN’s Health Information Exchange (HIE)?

Patient Look-Up - Allows providers to “query” or look up available patient health information within a network.  With the click of a mouse, providers can access information such as patient labs, past procedures, diagnosis, medications, etc.

WVDirect - A simple, encrypted messaging solution for health care providers. Essentially secure email, WVDirect allows health care providers to quickly share messages and health information needed to provide patient care.  Providers may choose to access WVDirect through the WVHIN’s HIE or as a stand-alone service.

Public Health Reporting – Allows providers to send required information to the Bureau for Public Health for public health reporting purposes.   

WV e-Directive Registry - Hosted by WV Center for End of Life Care, the WV e-Directive Registry is the first online all-inclusive advance directive registry in the United States.  The WVHIN gives providers access to the WV e-Directive Registry.  Providers may choose to access the WV e-Directive Registry through the WVHIN’s HIE or as a stand-alone service.

2.  What benefits will I receive by connecting to the HIE?

Some of the benefits providers may experience as a participant in the WVHIN’s HIE include:

Meeting Meaningful Use
WVHIN services can assist eligible professionals/hospitals in meeting Meaningful Use requirements:

  • Summary of Care – Provide summary of care record for transitions and referrals through WVDirect  
  • Immunizations – Successful ongoing submission of immunization data to the Bureau for Public Health
  • Patient Access – Provide online access to health information by using WVDirect to send information to a patient’s Personal Health Record (PHR)  
  • Advanced Directives – Record advanced directives on patients 65 years or older by accessing advance directive information through the WV e-Directive Registry 

Reducing Expenses

  • Reduce development of multiple costly interfaces as one connection to WVHIN’s HIE enables you to connect with other health care providers, labs, the WV Bureau for Public Health, WV e-Directive Registry, etc.
  • Increase your potential to achieve Meaningful Use and associated incentive payments 
  • Reduce operating costs associated with faxing, mailing, copying and storing paper records

Gaining Efficiencies

  • Receive the latest patient health information in near real time at the point of care in an ORGANIZED view that is EASY TO READ
  • Look up health information on a patient from any encounters of care with the click of a mouse
  • Receive information automatically into your Electronic Health Record (EHR) (if you choose/if your EHR is capable)
  • Electronically report required public health information to the WV Bureau for Public Health through one interface and eliminate duplicate manual data entry
  • Receive advance directive information through WV e-Directive Registry
  • Access to WVHIN’s clinical messaging solution, WVDirect

Maintaining Privacy and Security

  • WVHIN’s HIE is built to enable role-based access so only authorized individuals can view patient information on a need-to-know basis
  • Unlike paper record storage systems, WVHIN’s HIE  tracks  who accesses or changes information and maintains an audit log

Increasing Your Ability to Participate in Innovative Health care Delivery Initiatives

  • Use HIE as a tool for participating in Patient-Centered Medical Homes, Accountable Care Organizations and similar initiatives
  • Manage unique patient populations more efficiently and effectively

3.  How much will it cost me to connect to the WVHIN’s HIE?

The WVHIN does not currently charge providers to connect to the HIE.  However, your EHR vendor may charge an interface connection fee so discuss this with your vendor if you are considering connecting to the HIE.   WVHIN will charge fees at some point in the future.  The WVHIN will give all providers connected to the HIE a 1-year notice before any fees are enacted.

Please note - the WVHIN and the WV Regional Health Information Technology Extension Center (WVRHITEC) are involved in discussions with key ambulatory EHR vendors whose products are in use in West Virginia.  These discussions are designed to 1) attempt to structure connection service fees/costs that can be applied universally among providers who are using the same EHR product; and 2) develop a general fee schedule for expected connection/training charges related to the WVHIN’s HIE.

4.  Will patient health information that I look up within the HIE be routed back into my EHR?

This depends on how you choose to implement the HIE.  There are three implementation options that WVHIN will discuss with you.

1.  WVHIN Portal – WVHIN offers Participating Organizations (PO) the option to look up patient health information within WVHIN’s Portal.  Patient data viewed through the portal is not routed back to your EHR as structured data.

2.  Trusted Application Integration – WVHIN offers integration of the portal view as a “tab” within your electronic health record (EHR) system.   Like the portal, patient information remains within the WVHIN and is not automatically saved in your EHR.

3.  Standards Compliant Connection – WVHIN will route patient health information back into your EHR in the form of a Continuity of Care Document (CCD).   If your EHR has the ability to, this information can be stored as a consolidated CCD or parsed and stored as separate data elements.

5.  Where is the data for the HIE stored?

WVHIN offers Participating Organizations (POs) two data repository options:

1.  WVHIN hosted XDS.b repository – This centralized repository hosted by the WVHIN allows POs to send copies of their patient health information to the WVHIN repository.  This benefits the PO by not having to maintain a separate server to handle WVHIN query traffic.  The advantage of sending data to the WVHIN repository is the ability to leverage data analytics (in the future).

2PO hosted XDS.b repository* - This repository must be implemented by the PO and will respond to data requests from other WVHIN POs.
*Please note: Some EHR vendors may not be able to support this option.

6.  Beyond the technical, what else can I expect during implementation?

Implementation of the WVHIN’s HIE is not only a technical project.  For example, all POs are required to distribute WVHIN’s Patient Notice the first time each patient visits your organization beginning with visits 2- 4 weeks before “go live.”  Additionally, POs must be knowledgeable of WVHIN’s privacy and security policies and agree to adhere to these policies.  User training on the system is also an important piece of the implementation.  WVHIN will work with your organization to build various implementation teams for the multiple implementation processes involved.

7.  Do I get to decide which patient health information I want to contribute to the repository (whether it be the WVHIN hosted repository or my repository)?

Yes.  However, the WVHIN encourages you to share as much information as possible in order to make the HIE as data rich as possible.  Remember that having information on a patient at the point of care can lead to better patient care.  Please refer to the Interoperability Services Guide for more details on the types of documents that may be shared through the WVHIN.  This will be discussed during implementation.

8.  How do I get started if I want to connect to the WVHIN’s HIE?

If you are a health care provider interested in becoming a member of the WVHIN’s HIE, please follow the steps below.  Depending on your organization’s readiness, it may take as little as 10 weeks for a provider to “go live” on the HIE.

Step 1   - Complete WVHIN’s Online Readiness Assessment Survey
The readiness assessment survey has been designed as a tool to assist your organization in determining its ability to share and receive information using standards compliant connections.  

This assessment tool serves two main purposes.  The first is to provide the WVHIN with information about your organization and how utilizing WVHIN’s HIE would benefit your processes of care.  Second, is to provide your organization with the ability to determine whether your current or future electronic health record (EHR) system is capable of connecting.

Step 2   - Sign WVHIN’s Participation Agreement and Business Associate Agreement
This is a contractual agreement between the WVHIN and the provider, known as a WVHIN Participating Organization (PO).

Once these two steps have been accomplished, the WVHIN will work with your Site Administrator to schedule and coordinate implementation activities.  

9.  I am planning to use the WVHIN’s HIE to meet Stage 2 Meaningful Use requirements which involve ongoing submission of reportable data to Public Health. How does this work from a functionality and auditing perspective?

Immunization data, lab data and syndromic data are provided through the standards-based documents you will register with the WVHIN. When that information is provided to the WVHIN, the WVHIN in turn submits that information to the Public Health agencies in the HL7 format they request. Public Health will then confirm receipt with you for auditing purposes.

10.  What does it mean to be “live” on the WVHIN’s HIE?

The WVHIN considers a Participating Organization to be “live” on the HIE when: 1) the technical connection enabling the flow of data to and from the HIE is operational; and 2) the Participating Organization’s teams have completed training as defined by the WVHIN. It is the Participating Organization’s responsibility to roll-out end user education to those accessing the HIE system.