State's health information exchange announces rebrand and renewed commitment to providing value and long-term sustainability

New strategy gives healthcare providers safe, secure access to more comprehensive electronic health records and robust, operational services
By: healtheConnect Alaska
healtheConnect Alaska
healtheConnect Alaska
ANCHORAGE, Alaska - June 20, 2018 - PRLog -- The Alaska e-health Network, the non-profit tasked with establishing and maintaining Alaska's secure statewide health information exchange, announced today a new brand identity, along with new initiatives, strategic technology partnerships, and a renewed commitment to linking all Alaska healthcare providers to a robust, responsive, and secure statewide network for sharing electronic health information.

"We are essentially doing a re-start of the organization," said Laura Young, executive director of the re-named healtheConnect Alaska. "We felt a rebrand would be important to signify that we are new and improved. We are sending a message that this is a new effort. Our staff is all new, we are restructuring how the board works, and we are changing and expanding the technology."

With an eye on long-term sustainability and growth, healtheConnect Alaska will build its offerings and client base incrementally by prioritizing low-risk, high-value services. The network will add tools for patient encounters, PDMP and medication fill data, radiology images, continuity of care (CCD) documents, event notifications, and light analytics regardless of where a patient has received care previously. healtheConnect Alaska will also link behavioral health providers to the network, including the Alaska Psychiatric Institute, for improved care coordination and better patient outcomes.

Core HIE services such as Master Patient Index, user identity management, interfaces linking all hospitals and provider electronic medical record workflows and patient contact, and patient engagement apps will all be part of the exchange. Single sign-on will make it faster and easier for providers to access all the information available through the exchange.

The network will also transition from a clinical data repository model (stored data in a central location) to become a federated gateway, providing access to data in national networks, including eHealth Exchange, Carequality, and CommonWell, without downloading or storing that data.

Partnering with a wide range to technology providers will allow healtheConnect greater flexibility than working with just one vendor. They will be using NextGate for patient identify management, Nextgen/Mirth ('s interface engine, Ambra ( for radiology image exchange, TigerConnect ( for secure texting services, DrFirst ( for medication fill history and access to PDMP data, Inpriva ( as their direct secure messaging solution provider, and Audacious Inquiry ( for a range of modifiable, open-source, and cloud technology tools.

"With the adoption of new software solutions through our partnerships, healtheConnect Alaska will grow provider participation in the Alaska Health Information Exchange while also offering easier access to comprehensive data and a number of new tools for providers," said Young.

Young and her team are working on other valuable initiatives:
  • The State of Alaska has made changes to its regulations to allow HIE access to the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP). Young mentioned that her organization would also like to link to PDMPs in Oregon and Washington as well. "We will be augmenting PDMP data with medication fill history data from the DrFirst solution. That will give us a rich set of medication history data."
  • Connecting with behavioral health organizations. With a complex consent laws governing these providers, they are largely left out of health data exchanges leaving crucial health information out of clinical decision making. New participants such as Alaska Psychiatric Institute, are opening doors to overcome these limitations.
  • Connecting with the Department of Defense and Veteran's Administration via eHealth Exchange for further rich data stores.
healtheConnect is also working on a HIE sustainability and outreach plan, new web site, and more robust provider services.


About healtheConnect Alaska
healtheConnect Alaska (formerly Alaska ehealth Network) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation, established by Alaska statute, and organized and managed by Alaskans. healtheConnect Alaska has been tasked by the State of Alaska's Department of Health and Social Services to provide safe, secure transport for health information in order to improve quality and safety of patient care and increase efficiencies for hospitals and medical practices. healtheConnect Alaska provides health information exchange and direct secure messaging services to more than 20 hospitals and 450 healthcare organizations across Alaska. Benefits to these organizations include: confidential and timely access to patient's medical history no matter where a patient receives care; rapid medical record search for historical patient data, augmenting diagnosis and treatment; public health reporting assistance to meet meaningful use requirements; reduced interface costs due to a single entry point; referrals and referral documents transmitted automatically; and notifications of selected events including admission, discharge, and abnormal lab results.

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