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Missouri Gears Up For Their HIE RFI Release

The State of Missouri held their Technical Infrastructure Workgroup meeting today to continue the discussion of their Health Information Exchange (HIE) plan. Missouri plans on releasing a Request for Information (RFI) on March 24, 2010, to help gather more information on the technical approach and financing assumptions of their HIE. The Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) requires state strategic and operational HIE plans by July 30, but Missouri has their eye on a May 31 submission date.

The architecture Missouri is currently considering constitutes three layers utilizing larger institutional environments (for example hospital systems that contain more than one provider or university systems). The first objective would be to provide the system or highway that these larger environments connect to each other. After becoming certified under standards still being developed, each hospital or provider could join one of the existing environments and would be authorized a certificate to trade information through mutual authentication. This model is similar to the National Health Information Network (NHIN) Social Security Administration (SSA) pilot production.

Layer two comprises what most people think of when hearing HIE such as exchanging lab results or prescription information. Missouri is looking at a service oriented architecture (SOA) based on web services and an enterprise service bus pattern that includes a service registry. Layer three includes actually identifying each person's health records and linking them across providers.

Missouri has not set their plans in stone, however, the idea of several tiny, individual providers connecting directly to a statewide HIE could bring about many individual problems combining into large problems for the state. The state does not want to build an HIE from scratch and will be following NHIN standards closely as not to invent anything new. The RFI will provide vendors an opportunity to present their industry knowledge and experience, but be aware that not all HIE project workers are on board with vendor solutions. Will vendors be willing to modify their solutions to conform to the state HIE or even connect to another vendor's solution? Will vendors be able to sustain 1 million plus users logging on in the next twelve to 24 months? Ideally the RFI will identify what capabilities are available; what the current HIT environment looks like; and budget availability. GovWin is tracking the Missouri HIE Opportunity under ID #60207 and more information on Missouri's Health Information Technology environment can be found here.

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