UHIN (Utah Health Information Network)
Murray, Utah, United States
Utah Health Information Network
Founded in 1993, Utah’s health information exchange, UHIN, enables electronic medical records exchange and direct secure messaging services for 95 percent of hospitals and 90 percent of large clinics across the state, including Intermountain Healthcare and University of Utah Health. Apart from the 6 million clinical patient records in the HIE, UHIN’s full-service healthcare clearinghouse also encompasses more than 214 million claims records. The HIE plays a key role in driving data-driven improvements in care coordination and outcomes for its evolving network of 25,000 provider participants.
“The Rhapsody EMPI on AWS has been a foundational tool in supporting our network’s digital maturity and fostering an integrated approach to community health.”
Director, HIE Services
Replacing legacy technology with precise ID matching and data management
For state health information exchanges (HIEs), the goals of expanding network participation and fostering effective collaboration between members hinge on the ability to deliver timely, accurate and comprehensive patient data. Like many progressive and growing HIEs, UHIN’s need for a modernized, enterprise-level patient matching partner grew, in part, due to the number of EMR systems and applications entering the network, and the resulting number of duplicate and incomplete patient records.
Legacy identity data management technology was no longer sufficient for UHIN to handle the growing volume of providers and patients joining the HIE. It’s legacy master person service software was producing too many manual tasks for UHIN’s health information management (HIM) team to keep up with. For example, each time a new record was added, or a new provider entered the network, the legacy application would struggle to actively consolidate the information under the patient’s master record. Significant administrative challenges quickly became apparent.
UHIN’s challenges were further compounded with the addition of another vendor to solve the same problem. The HIE turned to referential matching to fix its legacy master person identity service, however found that in most cases, their own local demographic data was as rich as the data against which their vendor was referring.
To operate efficiently, UHIN needed a proven and automated solution that could match patient data at an enterprise level and connect the dots from other stakeholders across a technologically diverse healthcare community.
Rhapsody Enterprise Master Person Index (EMPI)
Critical to UHIN was selecting a cloud-based identity data management platform that could scale to support future growth and seamlessly onboard new providers and data streams, including social determinants and behavioral health. Further, the HIE had to ensure its network would remain secure, accessible and continually upgraded to alleviate any additional administrative burdens.
To that end, UHIN selected the Rhapsody EMPI on Amazon Web Services (AWS) to replace its existing data management solution and referential matching software.
The solution orchestrates all available medical information across the enterprise, with capabilities that include:
- A common identifier than spans applications
- The most up-to-date patient demographics across all clinical and financial systems
- Automated, real-time patient record matching across all systems and sites of care
- Seamless integration of new and existing legacy applications for fluid data exchange
- De-identification processes for population-based analytics and quality reporting
- Added benefit of address verification technology to standardize and verify address information
Minimizing manual inputs while maximizing speed & performance
Implementation planning began with a thorough analysis of UHIN’s data and careful tuning of the platform. Tuning the EMPI to an organization’s particular patient population significantly increases matching accuracy and dramatically reduces the need for manual reviews by the health information management (HIM) team.
On-demand access to up-to-date, comprehensive medical records afforded by the EMPI improves care decisioning and outcomes, while reducing errors and unnecessary costs.
The rise of COVID-19 during the implementation phase gave the team additional motivation to get the job done swiftly and accurately, especially since the HIE was pivotal to understanding the scope of the region’s spread. Having a crystal-clear picture of the pandemic across Utah, including admissions, discharges, lab work and prognosis, was critical for UHIN participants to identify and track exposures, and ultimately drive decisions on public health.
UHIN now leverages the EMPI address intelligence offering as part of the EMPI to standardize and verify patient address information. Using such postal standards as U.S Postal Service (USPS), Royal Mail and Canada Post ensures the address is accurate, up-to-date, and converted to the appropriate format for a trusted, reliable patient address. The technology has the added benefit of geocoding and reverse geocoding to enable location-based searches of populations.
“The demands of COVID-19 amplified the need for having a robust identity management solution in place for case surveillance and reporting,” said Cody Johansen, Director of HIE Services at UHIN. “As a vital piece of infrastructure for data integrity and interoperability, the EMPI supports our efforts to effectively and collectively respond to the crisis.”