A Data Exchange Solutions Provider’s Game Plan for HIMSS 2019

As implied by our name, DataMotion’s bailiwick is securing and delivering data in motion. We’re really pumped to go to HIMSS 2019, because, in healthcare, our skill-set positions us to deliver innovative solutions for health information exchange and secure electronic messaging.

Our annual visit to HIMSS – which we approach with equal parts of trepidation and excitement – is typically focused on education directly relevant to our secure data exchange solutions but we also find a lot of value in HIMSS as a forum for gauging market trends.  Last year, healthcare transformation was a pervasive theme in the clinical track while the IT track was abuzz about digital transformation. This year, we’re looking for validation that the parallel healthcare and digital transformation initiatives we’ve seen undertaken by our partners over the past 12 months indicate a convergence trend with new requirements for securing data in motion.

Convergence of these trends makes sense if you consider that a fundamental imperative to share data with stakeholders beyond the perimeter of the enterprise underlies both healthcare transformation and digital transformation. Since protected health information (PHI) figures importantly in data sharing, both types of transformation need external data transit channels secured in accordance with HIPAA privacy directives. Patient communications are a case in point.

Healthcare transformation seeks to empower patients to direct their care through mandates for HIPAA compliant access to healthcare records. Digital transformation seeks to achieve patient satisfaction and “stickiness” to providers through HIPAA compliant access to a range of sensitive healthcare data.  One has an empowerment aim and the other has a service goal, but they have a common data sharing objective with a strict HIPAA security requirement.

Given the range of secure data transport options available, it would seem reasonable to assume that a single data sharing solution could support the common goal of moving the full range of patient data with applicable HIPAA protections. This is true to the extent that fax has traditionally been the communications backbone for all kinds of healthcare messaging. The digital methods favored (or mandated) by transformation programs are mostly designated for either clinical or non-clinical workflow and are separated by the divide between clinical informatics and IT-cybersecurity.

With hospitals undertaking healthcare transformation projects and digital transformation projects in parallel and with these initiatives having shared data sharing objectives, we think that there’s a requirement for a common transport that can move both clinical and non-clinical PHI to stakeholders external to the enterprise in a way that’s fast, economical and compliant with HIPAA. To validate our thinking, we’re setting-up our HIMSS agenda to cover the state-of-play of the fundamentals impacting external data communications:

 

1. HIPAA

HIPAA compliant security and privacy protections are mission critical for data-in-motion solutions.  An RFI recently issued by HHS/OCR indicates that HIPAA rules may be changing to align with the digital nature of care coordination.  There’s also talk that HIPAA itself could be superseded by a national privacy policy. An update from the Director of the agency that oversees HIPAA is valuable input.  Check-out this session: An Update on HIPAA Compliance & Enforcement.

2. Health Information Exchange (HIE)

Many of the issues specific to exchanging PHI outside the enterprise are addressed by HIE and an update on this topic is essential learning.  Steven Lane has had a leading role in the major national efforts to mobilize data across disparate systems and geographies. Check out Steve’s presentation Reducing Burden for Providers and Payers

3. ROI on HIE

The economics of implementing a secure data-in-motion solution can be significantly improved if the solution qualifies for CMS incentive payments.  Meaningful Use (now Promoting Interoperability) financed EHR deployment.  In the absence of Meaningful Use, CMS has an evolving portfolio of new incentive programs to stimulate uptake of transformational technologies. This session should shed light on which technologies qualify for incentives and the magnitude of the funding:  Medicare Reimbursement and Connected Health: Where are We?

 

The above-referenced sessions are but a few options among the buffet of offerings at HIMSS.  If you prefer a “prix fixe” approach to HIMSS, check-out a pre-set track like Health Info Exchange, Interop, Data and Standards. Above all, define your objectives and plan an agenda in advance.  In a future blog, we’ll report back on how well we executed on our HIMSS strategy.

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