Michigan Health Information Network Shared Services (MiHIN) continues to expand the services it offers statewide, including the creation of a sandbox environment to enable healthcare organizations to simulate and test interoperability scenarios and a recently announced partnership with Care Convene, a telehealth platform.
In a recent interview, Tim Pletcher, MiHIN’s executive director, described the organization’s approach as a “use case factory.” MiHIN has created a methodology to work on bringing new use cases such as admission, discharge and transfer (ADT) notifications into production and add to their portfolio of shared services. “We put the use cases through a pipeline, including working with the state government or commercial payers to align financial or policy incentives. We have had payers involved in every single use case we have,” he stressed.
Once a new use case is in place, MiHIN runs the report cards on how health systems are doing. Are they sending data and how clean is the data and how consistent? “We are like teachers who want everyone to get an A,” Pletcher said. “We send report cards home to Mom and Dad – the payers or the state government. They decide whether they are going to give everyone their allowance. We don’t measure HIE participation, because just being part of a club does not mean you are creating value. But at the use case level, it does. For instance, we have 330 of the long-term care facilities/SNFs sending ADTs in Michigan, which is quite novel, but it is because we were able to create incentives to motivate them to do that.”
To help organizations work through issues with data sharing, MiHIN has a new nonprofit subsidiary called the Interoperability Institute and it has set up a sandbox environment called “Interoperability Land,” described as a shared online environment hosted in the Amazon Web Services Cloud where organizations, developers, and technology providers can engage in simulated interoperability scenarios to develop, test or demonstrate new application capabilities. It uses completely realistic but synthetic patient data.
“We started with immunizations, so people could practice submitting to the state registry,” Pletcher explained. “Very quickly we moved to ADTs and CCDAs, because nobody had any data to start priming the pump and work out all the kinks.”