HHS doles out $2.5M to increase HIE public health emergency response

HHS announced Sept. 30 new cooperative agreements totaling $2.5 million to five health information exchanges to improve data sharing among local public health agencies during public health emergencies. 

HHS' Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology is administering the funding through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act. With the funding, the five HIEs will work to strengthen their interoperability services so public health agencies can better access, share and use health information during emergencies, including the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Here are the five HIEs receiving the financial awards: 

1. Georgia Health Information Network will support the Georgia Department of Public Health and Georgia Department of Community Health by increasing health data reporting to a state-wide COVID-19 registry and expanding public health reporting for providers not connected to the HIE. 

2. Health Current (Arizona) will support the Arizona Department of Health Services by improving the timeliness and accuracy of hospitals reporting COVID-19 data, including personal protective equipment inventories and ventilator usage and inventory. 

3. HealthShare Exchange of Southeastern Pennsylvania will implement automated application programming interfaces to support COVID-19 reporting among the Philadelphia public health department, Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management and the Pennsylvania Department of Health. 

4. Kansas Health Information Network will use HIE data to establish COVID-19 registries for public health agencies and improve COVID-19 electronic lab reporting. 

5. Texas Health Services Authority will pilot a real-time, automated exchange of hospital capacity and other situational awareness data using APIs. The system will support the Texas Department of State Health Services, local health departments and healthcare organizations across the state.

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