HSX: Papal Visit Prompts Advanced Testing in Regional/Int’l Exchange—and Use—of Individual Patient Health Information

Need to care for visitors routinely and in crisis situations leads
to new steps in secure, electronic sharing of medical record data

PHILADELPHIA–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The visit of Pope Francis to the U.S. this past fall inspired progress
on many fronts including, now, international exchange of patient medical
information. A long-sought capability for visitor care and in case of
emergencies or crises, this function would permit electronic access to
medical records across borders for informed healthcare wherever on the
globe an individual needs it. The visit also prompted set-up of a
patient locator service for the region.

In preparation for the papal visit, HealthShare
Exchange of Southeastern Pennsylvania (HSX)
led a project to open
gateways for clinical information transfer with partners in Italy and
Canada, using mock patient data. The global exchange effort takes
advantage of the same technical standards needed to enable this type of
information sharing across the state of Pennsylvania and at a national
level in the U.S.

HSX simulated requests for patient information from its member hospitals
via its IT vendor Mirth,
directing the requests to Dedalus,
a prominent Italian healthcare IT and interoperability vendor, and to Forcare,
a health information exchange vendor chosen by Ontario — both of which
returned mock patient health information to be made available to HSX
member hospitals
in the Philadelphia area. Such secure information
would provide a snapshot of each patient’s recent clinical activity,
including medication lists, disease conditions, and primary diagnoses —
and eventually recent procedures — all of which guide providers in
prompter, safer, and more effective and efficient care.

“This important project, championed by HSX, has the potential to greatly
benefit foreign travelers to the U.S., who may need their medical
information available from abroad,” says Leonard
, President & CEO of Philadelphia
International Medicine

“These pioneering tests are laying the groundwork so that when foreign
travelers need our emergency services, we will be able to gather
clinical information to help our physicians provide better care,” says Don
, HSX Board Member and Vice President and CIO, Crozer-Keystone
Health System, in Delaware County, Pennsylvania.

In conjunction with the pope’s visit, HSX member hospitals elected to
also set up a patient locator service: the Urgent Patient Activity
Liaison service (uPAL).
For this resource, HSX uses
admission-discharge-transfer (ADT) data feeds from its member hospitals
as a database of locations for patients who have arrived for or
completed emergency department or inpatient care at regional hospitals.
During the papal visit, participating medical centers that might receive
inquiries from family members seeking the whereabouts of loved ones had
access to the uPAL call center, staffed by HSX.

With uPAL available, family members of individuals possibly exposed to
an incident whose whereabouts are not known could contact HSX
local and regional member hospitals
. These medical centers have the
capability, in turn, to query HSX directly. HSX staff members were
prepared to search the ADT data from some 30 area hospitals currently
sharing this data — in this case, with special attention to all medical
centers within the papal security zone — and determine if an individual
had been seen for medical care. As a result, family members of located
individuals could reach, find, and support a loved one in care.

“Thankfully, no incidents occurred that required activation of uPAL,”
says Martin Lupinetti, Executive Director of HSX, “however, our staff
and member organizations declared the training and set-up for this first
instance of uPAL availability to be an invaluable exercise toward future
uses of the service.”

In addition to uPAL, providers and patients are benefiting now from a
host of other health information sharing enabled by HSX, providing
health data in a timely manner so that critical information can be made
available to providers and their patients at the right time and at the
right place. The expanding list of HSX
, and member participation in them, is supporting better,
prompter, more cost-efficient patient care throughout the region.

This month, HSX will present on global exchange and uPAL at the
annual Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS)


Visit HSX at the Interoperability Showcase,
1st-3rd (Hall G), booth 11954-48
& HSX presentation: “Int’l
Exchange & Crisis Support,”
March 3rd, 1:00-2:00, Lando

IT Conference for 2016 | HIMSS16

the largest and most
important healthcare
IT conference in the United States.
– Palazzo – Sands Expo Center, Las Vegas


About HealthShare Exchange of Southeastern Pennsylvania, Inc. (HSX)

HealthShare Exchange of Southeastern Pennsylvania, Inc. (HSX) is a
non-profit health information exchange organization serving the Delaware
valley. Founded in 2009, HSX facilitates the exchange of patient data
between hospitals and insurers within the region. Incorporated as a
nonprofit organization, HSX was formed as a collaboration among major
healthcare stakeholders, including health plans and acute-care hospitals
across Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties to
enable the electronic exchange of patient information to improve patient
outcomes and to manage and lower healthcare costs. For more information,
visit http://www.hsxsepa.org/.


HealthShare Exchange of Southeastern Pennsylvania, Inc. (HSX)
Allen, 215-990-9628 (cell)