Several groundbreaking firsts taking place in cyberspace through the Delaware Health Information Network (DHIN) are transforming care for patients in the first state and beyond.
The DHIN (pronounced “din”) is the first and most mature health information exchange (HIE) in the nation. More than 7,000 health care professionals at more than 700 Delaware practices and health care organizations are enrolled in the network. This includes all of Delaware’s acute-care hospitals, skilled nursing care facilities, school-based clinics, federally qualified health centers, major medical imaging firms, major reference labs, including Public Health, and nearly 100 percent of Delaware-based health care providers.
Since its start in 2007, Christiana Care has played a key role in the DHIN. Christiana Care Chief Information Officer Randall Gaboriault leads the DHIN as board chair, and several Christiana Care employees participate on sub-committees.
In July, the DHIN became the first state-wide exchange in the nation to expand across state lines for an HIE-to-HIE transfer of critical patient information. The network connected 10 additional hospitals in Maryland, bringing to 15 the number of hospitals in that state sending admission, discharge or transfer information to the DHIN for Delaware citizens. This allows doctors of Delaware residents to view information in their patients’ records from significant hospital events, such as an emergency room visit, and provide faster follow-up care. The DHIN expects to add the remaining Maryland hospitals in the coming months.
The DHIN also launched an Event Notification System in Delaware in May that allows primary-care doctors and other appropriate medical staff to learn nearly immediately when a patient has a hospital-based encounter. This information “push” capability helps speed care to the patient and helps practices to qualify for Medicare transitions-in-care reimbursement payments, facilitating faster patient follow-up after a hospital discharge. The technology is a key building block in the transition to value-based care and population health management because it allows visibility and flow of information as patients seek care from different providers and different venues.
The network was founded as a public-private partnership, enabled by state legislation, to share real-time clinical information among all health care providers (office practices, hospitals, labs, diagnostic facilities, etc.) across the state to improve patient outcomes and patient-provider relationships, while reducing service duplication and the rate of increase in health care spending.