Thursday, January 19, 2012

HIE/HIO Governance, Policies, and Consents


I wrote about Connecticut HIE Policies that were out for public comment. Connecticut is now moving forward to moving real patient data for real patient treatments. This is fantastic, but what is really wonderful for the rest of us is that Connecticut is being very open and transparent. They have published their whole stack of governance, policies, and consents.

This is a really great example of the administrative work that must be done before one can really be evaluating the security and privacy needs of an HIE. These policies were written using many ISO standards and the IHE Affinity Domain planning kit. Please go to the site as they have a beautiful breakdown of the various many policies that are needed. Many people don't believe me when I say that there are many layers of policy.

These are a really good example of how an HIO can take a look at what is out there and pull what they understand while doing what is necessary to get what they need done. For example on ConfidentialityCode, Connecticut was confused by the vocabulary offered by HL7, and thus wrote their own vocabulary. They actually pulled more from ISO 13606, but didn't use that vocabulary either. We were lucky enough to be able to discuss this in detail this summer.  HL7 has revised their documentation and vocabulary so that we can have a vocabulary that could be understood beyond one HIE.

The establishment of policies and procedures are a key component for an effective HIE and sets the boundaries for data sharing between the health information exchange and its participating partners. 

These policies are now posted on the HITE-CT website and are available for public comment. The direct link to the Policies and Procedures page is http://1.usa.gov/hitectpolicies. The policies may also be accessed by going to the DPH website at www.ct.gov/dph under featured links: Health Information Technology Exchange of Connecticut”, then click on “Policies and Procedures” located on the left hand bar menu.
I would love to see more of this. It is always very important to see how a standard is understood or misunderstood so that we can make it better. I have pointed many people toward this site, and everyone has come back to me the next day and thanked me and asked for an introduction to the brains of this. I know her well, so ask and I will gladly introduce you  too.

For a Webinar on this