ONC grants HIEs $2.5 million to fight disasters, pandemics

HHS’ Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology granted $2.5 million to five local health information exchanges to improve health data interoperability, the agency said Wednesday. According to HHS, the funding will help state and local public health agencies respond to public health emergencies like natural disasters and […]

HHS’ Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology granted $2.5 million to five local health information exchanges to improve health data interoperability, the agency said Wednesday.

According to HHS, the funding will help state and local public health agencies respond to public health emergencies like natural disasters and pandemics. The agency will administer the funds through the Strengthening the Technical Advancement and Readiness of Public Health Agencies via Health Information Exchange—STAR HIE—program.

“Health information exchanges have long served important roles in their states and regions by helping health data flow to treat patients,” said ONC chief Dr. Don Rucker. “These STAR HIEs will help public health officials make real-time decisions during emergencies like fires, floods, and now, the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Georgia Health Information Network, Arizona’s Health Current, HealthShare Exchange of Southeastern Pennsylvania, Kansas Health Information Network and Texas Health Services Authority will receive funding from ONC.

The HIEs will use the funding for a wide range of purposes. For example, Texas Health Services Authority will test “a real-time, automated exchange of hospital capacity and other situational awareness data through” application programming interfaces, the agency said.

The funding came from March’s Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act relief package.

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