Health Information Exchange

About Health Information Exchange

Plans for health information exchange, or “HIE”, were mandated in conjunction with the Meaningful Use and Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Programs. HIE is the electronic transmission of health care data among facilities, providers, and government agencies.

The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act authorized the establishment of the State Health Information Exchange Cooperative Agreement Program to advance appropriate and secure HIE across the health care system. The purpose  is to continuously expand HIE services to reach all health care providers in an effort to improve the quality and efficiency of health care. The program builds on existing efforts to advance regional and state HIEs while moving toward nationwide interoperability.

Benefits of HIE

  • Improve health care quality and outcomes
  • Improve patient safety
  • Reduce health disparities, medical errors, and duplicate services
  • Enhance coordination of patient care
  • Reduce or eliminate paper
  • Control the cost of health care
  • Enhance public health and disease surveillance
  • Promote greater efficiency

HIE options in Illinois

The Illinois Office of Health Information Technology (OHIT) was created by Executive Order 2010-1, signed by Governor Pat Quinn on February 12, 2010. OHIT works to promote the development of health information technology, increase the adoption and Meaningful Use of EHRs, assure the privacy and security of electronic health information, and direct the state’s HIE planning efforts.

OHIT’s first offering is called the Illinois Health Information Exchange Direct (ILHIE Direct) Secure Messaging Solution, a secure e-mail system for providers across the state. Secure messaging protects sensitive health data sent between providers in compliance with industry regulations such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Click here an informational fact sheet.

Unlike traditional e-mail, ILHIE’s encrypted messages and attachments are sent and received through a secure portal. Using ILHIE Direct is simple, intuitive and very much like sending an e-mail. Now through June 30, 2013, ILHIE Direct is offered free of charge. Get details.