Vermont’s Plans for HIT

The “Vermont Health Care Innovation Project” (VHCIP) report was sent to the Vermont legislature to update the state’s investment in health IT, health information exchange, and telehealth.

These activities include the launch of the state’s “Event Notification System”. The Vermont Information Technology Leaders Inc. (VITL), a nonprofit organization, has partnered with “PatientPing”, State of Vermont, and the state’s ACOs to establish the system.

Community providers can join PatientPing and be notified in real-time when their patients receive care elsewhere and can share care instructions with other providers. Also, existing connections have been made to the Vermont Health Information Exchange (VHIE) to create an aggregated data feed containing patient encounter messages from across the state.

OneCare Vermont as a statewide ACO participates in Medicare, Medicaid, and the Commercial Exchange Shared Saving Programs. The system tracks 34 clinical quality measures for their patients to identify chronic disease trends to determine the need for new clinical interventions and to monitor the success of current interventions.

It was challenging for OneCare to collect data from many different EHR systems at participating provider’s offices, so VITL the operator of the VHIE offered a solution to establish a data warehouse to capture all clinical data coming into the VHIE in a structured format for analytical purposes. So now, OneCare and VITL are collaborating to provide comprehensive population health data that is filtered and transmitted into OneCare’s informatics platforms.

In April 2016, with support from the VHCIP, VITL completed the deployment of a terminology services system to improve the quality of data flowing into the VHIE. The system translates data from source systems such as EMRs into standard forms so data can be interpreted, collected, and used for analyses.

In addition, the state’s Designated Mental Health Agencies and Specialized Service Agencies are in the process of sending specific data to a centralized data repository. Long term goals for the data repository include accommodating connectivity to the VHIE as well as state agencies, other stakeholders, and interested parties.

Telehealth strategy is being developed in collaboration with the state and private sector stakeholders and includes developing a coordinating body. In the future, the coordinating body will support telehealth activities, align state policies relevant to telehealth, and invest in telehealth technology. The technology used must be secure, accessible, interoperable, cloud-based, align with Vermont’s HIT infrastructure, plus work to gain clinician engagement.

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