Healthcare initiatives like care coordination, interoperability, and CDSS all rely on the ability to reliably and quickly share information. To be certain healthcare providers are successful in the future, they must not only provide better care with less, they must also become partners with providers from treatment settings previously considered disparate.  Whether these are providers of mental health, substance use, public health, or primary care services, they must open their minds to parallel treatment paradigms while opening their systems to parallel data sources.

The technology to reliably share data has been a focus of my team for a couple of years. Many consider EHRs sending and receiving CCDs with an HIE as the answer to solving the question of interoperability. That is a myopic and misguided view. Within mental health and even more so with substance use, the willingness of an HIE to trade this extremely confidential data has been infrequent. Without HIEs as the information-sharing vehicle, providers still need to connect with other organizations to send or receive complete referral packages electronically. To achieve this, we worked directly with participating providers to identify the needed information and built a model spanning acute care, primary care, mental health, public health, and substance use agencies. This complete integration model mitigates the chasm frequently introduced during transitions of care between providers.

You may be asking yourself why this blog is reading like a summary of healthcare reform. It’s quite simple. Healthcare reform is a marriage of fantastic changes in both technology and people. My future posts will dive deeper into the ways sharing and aggregating information will improve care.

The technology we are building in our Dilbert® cubes is providing a healthcare information highway to ensure the right data is provided to the right user, at the right time, to provide the best care. With our ability to share the right information, we’re ensuring human lives are improved on a daily basis…and that is very cool.