ANN ARBOR, MI, October 26, 2011 – The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) is pleased to announce the unveiling of a new online engagement platform meant to facilitate information sharing among state health IT stakeholders.
The new platform – http://ciostatenet.org – is part of a broader relaunch for CHIME’s CIO State Network (StateNet) to enhance communication among healthcare chief information officers and other stakeholders on important matters related to the HITECH Act, as well as on other key state health IT activity. The new web-based platform also is designed to enable cross-state communications and provide an environment of easy-to-use, actionable resources to address important health IT issues.
CHIME StateNet was established to ensure that healthcare CIOs were intimately involved with HITECH implementation inside their states. A 50-state (and the District of Columbia) network of health IT stakeholders sought to foster statewide coalitions charged with advancing and standardizing the adoption of health information technology and health information exchange.
To help facilitate these efforts, CHIME members serve as StateNet CIO Coordinators, who are conduits in every state, charged with gathering and communicating relevant health IT developments, while sharing best practices both within and across states to encourage information distribution among stakeholders.
As part of its work during this first iteration, CHIME StateNet published “Guiding Principles” for more robust health information exchange (HIE) and better utilized regional extension centers (RECs). Several states have also teamed with local Health Information Management Systems Society (HIMSS) chapters to coordinator state advocacy days to inform public officials on the benefits of health IT.
Since that time, the national health IT landscape has broadened with current horizons focused on a host of issues, including:
• Proposed rules for meaningful use stage 2;
• Expansion and refinement of HIE operations;
• Rollout of REC service utilization for stage 1 meaningful use;
• Development of HIT and HIM workforce capacity; and
• Preparation for broader healthcare quality initiatives, introduced through healthcare reform and the Affordable Care Act.
To help CIO Coordinators navigate this fast-changing landscape, CHIME launched a new online engagement platform during its annual Fall CIO Forum.
“CIOs need to have a seat at the table, and increasingly, providers’ agendas are being set according to what happens at the state level,” said Russ Branzell, StateNet Chair, CIO and vice president at Poudre Valley Health System, Fort Collins, Colo. “Although many CIOs are engaged with a regional or statewide HIE, a vast majority of others are not involved at a policy level. This new platform will help CIOs engage stakeholders in government, academia and the private sector to address the enormous challenges facing providers in every state across the country.”
The engagement platform for StateNet members will facilitate information sharing among state health IT stakeholders; enable cross-state communications where regional or national collaboration is needed; and provide an environment of easy-to-use, actionable resources to address important health IT issues.
“Now is the critical time to unite stakeholders from all different perspectives,” said Indranil “Neal” Ganguly, StateNet Vice Chair. “From meaningful use to health information exchange, CIOs need to make sure their voice is heard during policy formation and implementation.”
CHIME will utilize familiar social networking tools and employ social media to help stakeholders collaborate. In addition to the StateNet-wide functions, such as the StateWatch Blog and the StateNet Discussion Forum, each member of CHIME StateNet will be able to join their State Group. These State Groups will have their own discussion forums that will enable members of that state to communicate via email and through a web-based forum. State pages also have the ability to create an unlimited number of pages that are html-enabled, can imbed video or sound files, and third-party widgets.
To join CHIME StateNet, please visit http://ciostatenet.org and fill out a brief profile.
Also see a blog posting written by Branzell on the launch of the new StateNet platform and what it means for healthcare CIOs at http://wp.me/p1QZ5c-1q.
The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) is an executive organization dedicated to serving chief information officers and other senior healthcare IT leaders. With more than 1,400 CIO members and over 70 healthcare IT vendors and professional services firms, CHIME provides a highly interactive, trusted environment enabling senior professional and industry leaders to collaborate; exchange best practices; address professional development needs; and advocate the effective use of information management to improve the health and healthcare in the communities they serve. For more information, please visit www.cio-chime.org.