Rhode Island-based MEDfx Corporation and Community Health Alliance Inc., a Virginia-based nonprofit last month announced a partnership to create ConnectVirginia, a statewide Health Information Exchange (HIE) in the commonwealth. ConnectVirginia intends to provide the exchange of vital clinical data between authorized health care providers across the state to improve access to health information.
Community Health Alliance was awarded a contract from the Virginia Department of Health in October 2011 to establish and operate Virginia’s statewide HIE. MEDfx’s combination of software and services will allow ConnectVirginia to provide a full range of HIE capabilities from one-way secure messaging to bi-directional query/retrieve.
“We are fortunate to have MEDfx as our technology partner for the ConnectVirginia project,” said ConnectVirginia Executive Director Sandy McCleaf. “Our combined efforts will ensure that Virginians are provided a secure, private, state-of-the-art HIE service that will advance care coordination within our state.”
ConnectVirginia’s first initiative, Direct Messaging, launched Feb. 17 and enables secure a one-way “push” of clinical information. With Direct Messaging, enrolled clinicians in Virginia will be able to send secure messages to, and receive secure messages from, other enrolled clinicians. Information of all types may be exchanged including Continuity of Care Documents, lab results, dictated reports, discharge summaries and scanned documents, among others. ConnectVirginia Direct Messaging is built upon the Direct Project national standards and specifications, which provide the necessary security and encryption mechanisms to enable providers to securely share a patient’s medical history.
Later this year, ConnectVirginia will onboard Certified HIE participants, giving each Certified HIE the ability to query other ConnectVirginia Certified HIEs for records about a specific patient. If a patient has opted-in with ConnectVirginia, a provider may retrieve, or “pull,” health information from other providers in an easy-to-use, standardized Continuity of Care Document (CCD). ConnectVirginia will also leverage the MEDfx infrastructure to join the Nationwide Health Information Network and other initiatives to improve quality of care.
“We are proud to be a part of the ConnectVirginia initiative,” said Colin Barry, CEO of MEDfx. “The Commonwealth greatly benefits from the vision and leadership of CHA and ConnectVirginia stakeholders. We look forward to working with CHA to set the standard for data exchange and connectivity among the clinicians in the Commonwealth of Virginia.”
A consortium of nonprofit hospitals created Community Health Alliance in 2002 to improve access to health care services and resources for those in need. Additionally, CHA aims to enhance the continuity of care for patients requiring coordination and communication across multiple providers. MEDfx Corporation is a privately held company with a 28-year history of embracing emerging technologies in collaboration with other health care organizations.