healtheConnect Alaska, the State of Alaska’s official health information exchange (HIE), announced today it has been awarded a new state contract with Alaska’s Department of Health to expand its HIE and data services across Alaska. The new contract will allow the HIE to continue its work across the state and reach more regions where access to quality care has been historically limited, such as underserved rural and urban Alaskan communities.
Since 2009, healtheConnect has served healthcare providers and patient populations across Alaska by facilitating access to the secure data exchange of crucial healthcare information. The HIE recently experienced extensive growth, more than doubling its user base from 2021 to 2022. The number of participating organizations also increased by 40% in that time.
“We are proud to be an invaluable resource for so many Alaskan caregivers, and truly see ourselves as trusted representatives of the healthcare community,” said Dr. Gene Quinn, chair of the healtheConnect board. “Health information is essential to the high-quality and cost-effective care of Alaska’s patients, and this new contract reaffirms the state of Alaska’s confidence in healtheConnect to provide that critical infrastructure.”
HealtheConnect aims to ultimately improve health outcomes and reduce total costs of care for Alaskans by ensuring all care stakeholders and providers have access to timely data that is accurate and standardized to better provide whole-person, wrap-around care for their patients.
The HIE became an affiliate of CRISP Shared Services (CSS), a non-profit support organization that provides technology infrastructure and other core services to HIEs across the US, in 2021. This has helped the HIE greatly improve interoperability across Alaska and helped make the organization an important public health partner.
“Having access to healtheConnect has absolutely transformed the way we care for our members. This is an invaluable service to the people of Alaska,” said Mary Swain, executive director and CEO at Camai’i Community Health Center. “healtheConnect’s digital workflows and care coordination has enabled the modernization of our state’s healthcare system and provides patients with the care and services they need. Without it, we’d be lost – still relying on paper medical records and outdated workflows, like fax machines.”
healtheConnect recognizes the necessity of collaboration for innovation among community providers and thought leaders to support valuable outcomes in Alaska’s population health. HealtheConnect recently partnered with the Alaska Department of Health (DOH) and successfully hosted the inaugural Annual HIE Summit on January 27, 2023. Presentations and conversations highlighted new ways providers were using the HIE to improve physical, behavioral and social health outcomes. Additionally, the HIE has been endorsed by organizations such as the Alaska State Medical Association (ASMA) and the Alaska Hospital and Healthcare Association (AHHA).
“We are excited to continue our work across the state to bring a better, safer and more efficient healthcare system to Alaskans,” added Dr. Quinn.
healtheConnect Alaska is the State of Alaska’s official Health Information Exchange. Created in Alaska State Statute, the organization offers services that help healthcare providers share and receive important patient health information. Alaska’s HIE connects healthcare providers on a statewide basis from primary care, specialty care, hospitals, and public health. For more information, visit: https://www.healtheconnectak.org/.
About CRISP Shared Services
CRISP Shared Services (CSS) is a non-profit support organization that provides technology infrastructure and other core services to Health Information Exchanges (HIEs) across the US. CSS assists member organizations in achieving economies of scale, pooling innovation efforts and implementing best practices while maintaining their own governance. Additional member affiliates of CSS currently include CRISP Maryland, CRISP DC and West Virginia Health Information Network. CSS also supports Connie, Connecticut’s official HIE. For more information, visit: https://www.crispsharedservices.org.