News Archive

Rio Grande Valley and Paso del Norte HIEs Receive Accreditation from the Texas Health Information Exchange Accreditation Program (TX-HIEAP)

 

Austin, TX – July 28, 2016 – The Texas Health Services Authority (THSA) is pleased to announce that the local health information exchanges (HIEs) serving the Rio Grande Valley and the greater El Paso regions have received accreditation from the Texas Health Information Exchange Accreditation Program (TX-HIEAP). Rio Grande Valley HIE, which covers Brooks, Cameron, Hidalgo, Jim Hogg, Kenedy, Webb, Willacy, Starr and Zapata counties, and Paso del Norte HIE (PDN HIE), which covers greater El Paso area, are responsible for securely sharing clinical data between healthcare providers in order improve healthcare delivery in their respective regions.

The TX-HIEAP designation is achieved from the Electronic Healthcare Network Accreditation Commission (EHNAC) and the THSA, and certifies that entities are operating under accepted and uniform standards in the handling of protected health information. Through the accreditation process, EHNAC reviews technical performance, business processes, resource management and other relevant information to ensure entities are interoperable with state and federal programs, and provides the private, secure and proper exchange of health information in accordance with established laws and public policy.

TX-HIEAP is one of the highest levels of accreditation possible for the exchange of electronic health records. Through the consultative review process, Rio Grande Valley HIE and PDN HIE demonstrated adherence to strict standards and participation in the comprehensive, objective evaluation of its business.

"Increasing confidence is central to expanding health information exchange in Texas," said George Gooch, interim CEO of the THSA. "With accreditation, local HIEs in Texas validate their commitment to maintaining the highest standards in the electronic exchange of health information. We are extremely proud of Rio Grande Valley HIE and PDN HIE for achieving this high level of accreditation."

According to Andrew Lombardo, executive director and CEO of the Rio Grande Valley HIE, "We are committed to building the strongest possible health information exchange for our region and having the community's trust is essential to accomplishing that. This certification reinforces that we're doing everything we can to put in place the processes and oversight to ensure privacy and to facilitate the secure and appropriate exchange of protected health information."

"Protecting the privacy and security of patient data is a top priority of the PDN HIE," said PDN HIE executive director Jon Law, "We will continue to have third party analyses of our policies and systems to ensure that this priority is fulfilled."

Law continued, "Border communities present unique health challenges for clinicians, including high prevalence of chronic disease, lower household incomes and relatively high levels of migration in the population. Receiving full accreditation through TX-HIEAP demonstrates that the Paso del Norte region and the Rio Grande Valley are developing important assets to enable medical providers with better information to make important clinical decisions.

About THSA: The Texas Health Services Authority is responsible for coordinating the implementation of health information exchange (HIE) in Texas. The THSA was created by the Texas legislature in 2007 as a public-private partnership, legally structured as a non-profit corporation, to support the improvement of the Texas health care system by promoting and coordinating HIE and health information technology (HIT) throughout the state to ensure that the right information is available to the right health care providers at the right times. Learn more at www.HIETexas.org

About the Rio Grande Valley HIE: The Rio Grande Valley HIE is a non-profit organization established in 2011 to serve 8 counties (Brooks, Cameron, Hidalgo, Jim Hogg, Kenedy, Webb, Willacy, Starr and Zapata) with the purpose of facilitating access to, and retrieval of, health information to provide safer, more timely, efficient, and effective patient-centered care. From Brownsville to Laredo, patients will have the ability to provide medical information to those who need it most, just when they need it. In order to help serve an increasingly mobile population, the RGV HIE plans to connect the other regional HIEs in Texas. Soon, wherever you seek treatment, your providers will have rapid, up-to-date access to your health information. http://rgvhie.org/

About the PDN HIE: Paso del Norte HIE is a collaboration of major healthcare partners in the greater El Paso area. The purpose of the HIE is to share clinical data between healthcare providers to improve health and medicine. Major partners include: City of El Paso Department of Public Health, El Paso County Medical Society, El Paso First Health Plans, Las Palmas/Del Sol Healthcare, Paso del Norte Health Foundation, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso, The Hospitals of Providence, and University Medical Center of El Paso. Learn more at http://pdnhie.org/

About EHNAC: The Electronic Healthcare Network Accreditation Commission (EHNAC) is a voluntary, self-governing standards development organization (SDO) established to develop standard criteria and accredit organizations that electronically exchange healthcare data. These entities include electronic health networks, payers, financial services firms, health information exchanges, medical billers, outsourced services, e-prescribing solution providers and direct trusted agents. EHNAC was founded in 1993 and is a tax-exempt 501(c)(6) nonprofit organization. Guided by peer evaluation, the EHNAC accreditation process promotes quality service, innovation, cooperation and open competition in healthcare. To learn more, visit www.ehnac.org