HIE accreditation coming for Texas

October 16, 2013 in Medical Technology

The Electronic Healthcare Network Accreditation Commission and the Texas Health Services Authority are partnering to develop a state accreditation program for public and private health information exchanges operating in the Lone Star State.

In a bid to improve HIE coverage and interoperability for all Texans and to provide a mechanism to establish trust in HIE, the accreditation program will certify qualified HIE applicants to ensure they’re operating under accepted and uniform standards in the handling of protected health information.

Once the program is developed, EHNAC and THSA will review technical performance, business processes, resource management and other relevant information to ensure that accredited HIEs within Texas are interoperable with state and federal programs, and provide the private, secure and proper exchange of health information in accordance with established laws and public policy.

“The state of Texas is a true innovator in driving interoperability and protecting the privacy and security of patient data through both public and private HIEs,” said EHNAC Executive Director Lee Barrett, in an Oct. 16 press statement announcing the partnership. “We are pleased to have been selected to collaborate with THSA on the development of this program. We applaud the THSA for its commitment to connecting Texans and enhancing care by ensuring the secure exchange of health information across the state.”

Over the next three months, the THSA will work with EHNAC to collaboratively develop the program based on existing criteria and processes from EHNAC’s Health Information Exchange Accreditation Program, while ensuring that it is customized to meet state requirements, officials say. The program’s criteria categories will include the review of organizational, operational, technical and privacy and security policies and procedures.

EHNAC and THSA will align the program with relevant guidance from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, including ONC’s Governance Framework for Trusted Health Information Exchanges.

“I am very confident in our choice to work with EHNAC on this important project,” added Tony Gilman, chief executive officer of THSA. “Increasing market confidence in organizations involved in exchanging and maintaining electronic health information through regular assessments is one way to support greater participation in and ultimately sustainability of HIE efforts in Texas and across the U.S.”

[See also: EHNAC announces accreditation program for HIEs]

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