2011 A Tipping Point for Maine’s HIE

As is customary when another year comes to a close, we look back and reflect on where we’ve been. After a two year demonstration project, 2011 saw the first new HIE participants connect since 2009. This included six new hospitals and over 60 physician practices. Looking ahead, 2012 will be just as busy, with more than a dozen more organizations under contract and interest from hospitals, specialty care, long-term care, and mental health providers.  Hospitals currently under contract with HealthInfoNet represent 87% of all hospital inpatient, outpatient and emergency visit activity in Maine. The HIE is currently at over 70%. We see this as a true tipping point for the HIE here in Maine, and a huge opportunity to demonstrate for the nation the value of health information exchange!

We also have reached a tipping point in the number of records available in the HIE. This past fall, HealthInfoNet passed the million record mark, meaning more than one million people treated in the State of Maine have a record within the health information exchange. As HealthInfoNet continues to add more providers to the exchange, that number should grow rapidly and come close to the 1.3 million residents living in the State today. Also growing as HealthInfoNet expands is the comprehensiveness of information, something key to unlocking HealthInfoNet’s potential for improving care coordination and transitions. Already, of the million people with records in the HIE, more than 145,000 have visited two or more participating providers. And in two-hospital towns like Bangor and Lewiston, HealthInfoNet’s system shows as much as a 75% patient crossover, meaning 75% of the time, patients registering at one facility already have information in the HIE.

We look forward to 2012, when we’ll connect many more facilities and continue to improve care for the people of Maine!