“People of Earth, remember.” RHIOs Part II

The last couple of days have been just spectacularly beautiful in Denver with that Colorado blue sky that makes you just want to go out and play. But, instead of playing outside I have spent quite a bit of time reconnecting with old colleagues from the social and healthcare services projects I used to volunteer for or work with. Reconnecting with them has made these days even more beautiful.

In a series of conversations about the many issues we face in healthcare, and how IT could help, I was reminded of the Merkel Foundation program Connecting for Health which is a public-private collaboration initiative that brings together over 100 healthcare organizations.

The program seeks to catalyze the widespread changes necessary to realize the full benefits of health information technology (HIT), while protecting patient privacy… Not an easy task when we consider the long list of stakeholders involved besides the patients themselves.

Healthcare’s challenge of connecting information between different providers while keeping our privacy is an issue, as we all know, full of all sorts of controversies (and costs). Connecting for Health is a project worth evaluating under the RHIO series for inclusion into the Collaborative Society Directory.

Another RHIO related project I’m submitting for evaluation is The California Regional Health Information Organization – CalRHIO, which launched its first site back in October of this year at the Coastal Communities Hospital in Orange County. According to their release, 23 hospital emergency departments over the next five months will have secure electronic access to critical medical information…on 380,000 patients enrolled in CalOptima, which covers people in Medi-Cal, Medicare, and Healthy Kids.

The overall benefits and outcomes of the RHIOs and Health Information Exchange (HIE) programs aren’t yet clear since they are on different stages of design and execution. The fact that there are so many branches of these programs provides abundant information for evaluating how collaborative initiatives between the three sectors address challenges in different communities and how they use technology to do so.

If you are involved in any of the RHIO or HIE projects, we look forward to hearing your comments here or sharing submitting them at the Collaborative Society.


“People of Earth, remember.” How do we talk health information? RHIOs Part I” target=”_blank”>RHIO Part I

What is this all about?
The Collaborative Society Directory’s goal is to collect and understand information from different collaborative projects that bring together as participants entities from the three forces that shape our societies: public, private and non-profit. The goal of The Collaborative Society is to explore if such information can provide us with insights of what could be the characteristics that make a society or a community healthy.

(cross-posted at Collaborative Society)

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