For those of you who have been reading the writings here at Health Train back in 2005 when it began (as the Inland Empire RHIO) the formation of a RHIO, specifically the Inland Empire Regional Health Information Exchange. Riverside Health February 24, 2005 will take you to the initial blog about the RHIO. Health Train (then called the Inland Empire RHIO) published several times a month as a newsletter. You can follow the stream to see how It evolved and functioned as a conduit for information for those working on RHIOs across the country. As interest lagged after several years, the name changed to Health Train Express to more accurately describe it’s content. (little did I know I was a pioneer in Social Media Networking). Most people back in 2005 did not know what was blogging.
Despite a small group’s interest in establishing a RHIO, and several meetings the plan lay dormant for several years. The early meetings were more educational than productive about the HIE envisioned.
Years passed by and about 18 months ago the project arose once again, this time named the Inland Empire Health Information Exchange Collaborative which began serious work on governance, and building a sustainable business model, and a consensus for a project management. Consultants were contracted, Many more scheduled meetings were held, and hospitals and stakeholders invested considerable funding. A financial plan developed and annual subscriptions to the IHIE were offered. With this foundation the project began in earnest.
The development of the IHIE parallels HIE development across the United States in the manner forecast by the ONC for a NHIN, beginning in 2004 and initially funded by executive order of President George W. Bush. Bush appointed David Brailer MD, who at that time was the head of the Santa Barbara RHIO (extinct).
Early on there were many failures, not because of lack of interest, but due to lack of a proven sustainable business model and confidence that such a project would come to fruition. Much has been learned from the early failure and observations of the many failure of RHIO across the country, and the recent successes are in no small manner the results of those frustrations.
During the ensuing years vendor interest developed and technical solutions matured.
This month the IHIE will meet to select a vendor to deliver the technical back end of the IHIE.
This is very encouraging. Despite physician reservations about EMRs and HIEs the effort will progress and hopefully will improve work and health for physicians and patients alike.
Important Players in the Journey: The Medical Societies have been and continue to be very supportive in administrative matters and a physical setting for meetings and conferences.
Gary Levin MD