The mission of the Tennessee Office of eHealth Initiatives is to facilitate improvements in Tennessee's health care quality, safety, transparency, efficiency, and cost effectiveness through statewide adoption and use of electronic health records (EHR) and health information exchange (HIE). Access to the right health care information appropriately, securely and at the right time by providers and patients will allow these goals to be reached.
Health Information Technology has become a major focus of the healthcare industry in the last few years and has received considerable attention recently because the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) allocates funding by the Office of the National Coordinator for HIT for programs to promote health information exchange, the adoption and meaningful use of EHRs, and health information technology workforce development. ARRA presents Tennessee with a new opportunity to advance the secure exchange of health information with these stimulus funds being made available for grants, loans, and incentives to expand the adoption and Meaningful Use of EHRs and HIE.
This Web site is an informational resource for Tennessee hospitals and health care providers seeking to understand the Recovery Act's Meaningful Use criteria for EHR adoption and HIE, and to direct these stakeholders to resources that identify best practices for successful adoption allowing them to receive Medicaid and Medicare incentives available under the Act. It is also a resource for Tennessee consumers to increase awareness of the benefits of EHR adoption and HIE by the Tennessee hospitals and providers who serve them.
The State of Tennessee's Office of eHealth is currently focusing on a two channel approach for secure health information exchange between providers.
First, the state is dedicated to the development of both public and private regional exchanges across the state which provide for the active querying of a patient's medical history from a variety of providers. These robust health information exchanges allow health care providers with the appropriate security access to inquire into a patient's medical records, gaining access to a full spectrum of that patient's care. This evolving technology will allow for the first time for providers to get a total picture of a patient's medical history and current treatment by their entire care team. Additionally, it will allow for advanced population health studies which will improve the overall quality of care in the state. Ultimately, the State will assist in enabling connections between these public and private exchanges to enable a statewide query ability as well as connections to federal health care sources such as Veterans Affairs, Department of Defense, CDC, CMS, SSA and more.
The other focus of the state is enabling the development of a secure, health care specific messaging system that will allow providers to send both messages and electronic documents to each other on an ad hoc basis whenever there is a need for such communications. This technology will provide a more secure exchange mechanism for health information. It will also make possible the reduction of the vast amount of faxing that is currently taking place in the health care community.
The state is investing both federal and state grants as well as great deal of time and effort into these initiatives. We are working closely with local health care leaders to ultimately provide this improved health care information highway to both providers and patients across the state.
Updated August 16, 2012