Despite an investment of millions of dollars through federal financial assistance, many public Health Information Exchanges (HIEs) across the country have failed to achieve a sustainable business model that would enable ongoing service delivery without government funding. On the other hand, Delaware Health Information Network (DHIN), the hub of a health information ecosystem in Delaware, has seen nearly universal adoption of one or more of its services across the state. As Chief Executive Officer, Jan Lee, MD has led DHIN's efforts to become financially self-sustaining, with operating expenses fully covered by operating revenue.
" DHIN provides alerts to primary care providers when their patients are discharged from a participating facility. "
Under Dr. Lee's direction, DHIN has evolved from a singular focus on results delivery to a multifaceted organization offering nearly 20 distinct services. Metric-driven, Dr. Lee is relentless in her quest to find ways to meaningfully measure the quality and value of DHIN's services as seen through the eyes of its customers. Through a series of five-year strategic plans, each fully executed, DHIN keeps moving forward and motivates its employees to strive for excellence.
At DHIN's heart are two core services:The electronic delivery of clinical results and reports to the ordering healthcare provider and the Community Health Record, an aggregated, longitudinal compilation of health data for each patient in the database, regardless of where care was delivered. DHIN's Community Health Record holds nearly 3 million records for patients from all fifty states. A patient may have data from a visit to his or her primary care provider, as well as a specialist, such as a cardiologist; reports from an emergency room visit or walk-in clinic; lab results; and x-rays from an imaging center all aggregated into one chart. These results can be viewed through a single log-in to the Community Health Record by properly credentialed members of the patient's healthcare team, saving hours of effort in tracking down previous test results or reports of care rendered in other locations.
This single point of reference ensures that the patient's medical record is available at the point of care, wherever the patient is next seen, even in emergent cases. Recently, a practice's electronic medical record experienced an unplanned outage, rendering its patient files unavailable. With a full schedule of patients to be seen, the practice staff utilized the Community Health Record to access each patient's medical history and maintain continuity of care until the files were once again available.
With near-real time data delivery on Delaware patients from over 100 hospitals and healthcare centers across a six-state region, DHIN provides alerts to primary care providers when their patients are discharged from a participating facility. Currently, nearly 250 healthcare organizations contribute patient data to DHIN. This rich data repository supports the Community Health Record and point-of-care treatment decisions, as well as enables DHIN to develop additional services, such as analytics offerings, to make this data useful.
DHIN employs both technical and administrative safeguards to ensure that only those with a legitimate reason to access a patient's data are able to do so and audits all network activity rigorously. As a trusted source of healthcare data, DHIN was authorized by the Delaware General Assembly to stand up the state's All Payer Claims Database. In addition to the clinical data services that DHIN has provided for over a decade, the growing database provides a unique opportunity to match clinical and claims data to better answer questions of total cost and quality of care across time and care settings.
Jan Lee, CEO
DHIN creates efficiencies for doctors, patients, practices, and those who send them clinical information.