HIE Launches New COVID-19 Data Monitoring Platform

The following is an interview with Jaime Bland, CEO of Nebraska Health Information Initiative (NEHII).

Tell us about the new COVID-19 Data Monitoring Platform that NEHII launched.  What does it accomplish and how does it work?

NEHII partnered with KPI Ninja to develop the COVID-19 Data Monitoring Platform.  The COVID-19 platform ingests data from multiple sources including ADT messages, EHR daily extracts, lab hub tests, and summary reports.  The platform combines the real-time data being received by NEHII into a single set of dashboards for consistent information for planning purposes and decision-making.  Specifically, the dashboards include real-time bed management, labs and patient tracking, and ventilator and PPE tracking information as well as forecasting of capacity and resource utilization. To integrate the various sources, NEHII relied on Optum, InterSystems, 4Medica, and NextGate, and for components as data sources or identity matching.

Who will use the data that’s being collected on this platform?

Current users of the platform are local and state health officials.

What made it possible to bring all these organizations together? Who drove the collaboration?

NEHII has long been recognized as the source for clinical and population health information for Nebraska.  Transferring into a COVID-19 trusted source was a natural transition for NEHII and our partners.  The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services and Governor Pete Ricketts office were supportive of NEHII efforts.

Were the healthcare delivery organizations already part of NEHII or have you added some since?  How hard was it to get them to take part in this effort?

As Nebraska’s health information exchange (HIE) and population health utility, NEHII connects to more than 70 percent of the state’s providers. For those that were not, NEHII developed a rapid onboarding process to make the data connections. The response was strong and to further support our participants, NEHII is funding some expenses for onboarding. To fulfill the information need while new participants are being onboarded, a daily summary reporting process was created.  Also making connections to the Nebraska Public Health Lab was critical to receiving COVID-19 test results.

How did you approach identity management in this project when you’re looking across multiple healthcare organizations?

Matching patients across multiple data sources is a critical part of the core service we provide to our participants.  Working with the COVID-19 platform was a natural extension of this service. NEHII partner NextGate assisted in rapidly developing a patient identity management solution that is being used in the COVID-19 platform.

What challenges still remain?

The COVID-19 response is still evolving and presents needs for new dashboards.  Each new need presents a data challenge:  Is the required data captured? Is it consistent? Is it verified?  NEHII has support from the health care community and is able to reach out and request the assistance needed.

While this was great for COVID-19, in what ways does this lay the groundwork for future collaboration and data sharing?

NEHII was already considered a trusted source for clinical information and quality reporting data.  The response to COVID-19 needs underscored the capability as a population health utility.  Working through our partners, we have increased the providence of information and what insights are garnered. This knowledge and insight will benefit future collaboration and data sharing.

This interview is part of the #HealthIT100in100

About the author

John Lynn

John Lynn

John Lynn is the Founder of HealthcareScene.com, a network of leading Healthcare IT resources. The flagship blog, Healthcare IT Today, contains over 13,000 articles with over half of the articles written by John. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 20 million times.

John manages Healthcare IT Central, the leading career Health IT job board. He also organizes the first of its kind conference and community focused on healthcare marketing, Healthcare and IT Marketing Conference, and a healthcare IT conference, EXPO.health, focused on practical healthcare IT innovation. John is an advisor to multiple healthcare IT companies. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can be found on Twitter: @techguy.