Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) gave $1.5 million to seven recipients of two Cooperative Agreement programs–the High Impact Pilot and Standards Exploration Award–to improve patient information sharing.

Recipients are tasked with creating solutions to make sharing health information easier, advance innovation in using electronic health information, and test new approaches to improving patient experience.

“We are excited to support these innovative projects that advance the use of common standards to improve care, particularly in the categories of comprehensive medication management, laboratory data exchange, and care coordination,” said B. Vindell Washington, M.D., M.H.C.M., national coordinator for health information technology. “These programs will serve as key building blocks for improving the patient and provider experience with the flow of health information.”

The High Impact Pilot and Standards Exploration Award funding opportunities were announced at the Health Datapalooza Conference in May. The main objective for both opportunities was to improve the sharing of health information among health care stakeholders, improve care delivery, and demonstrate how health IT can positively impact the patient experience.

After receiving more than 35 applications, HHS selected winners based ability to address health IT challenges, scalability, potential impact, technical approach, innovation, creativity, and alignment with Department goals.

The following 7 groups received awards for their project proposals:

  • The Health Collaborative: The Health Collaborative and the Strategic Health Information Exchange Collaborative (SHIEC) partnering together and creating a Patient-Centered Data Model pilot project.
  • Lantana Consulting Group: Creating a new standard for electronic pharmacist care plans (ePhCP) and integrating pharmacist care plans into patient care.
  • RxREVU, Inc: RxREVU and the Banner Health System partnering together and reducing overall prescription drug spending via Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR).
  • The University of Utah: Sharing information through a closed-loop surgical referrals dashboard application that integrates with EHRs.
  • Arkansas Office of Health Information Technology: Implementing a bi-directional health information exchange with behavioral health providers.
  • Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center: Integrating healthcare and clinical research systems with the medical center’s EHR.
  • Sysbiochem: Sysbiochem, Boston Children’s Hospital, Intermountain Healthcare, and Massachusetts General Hospital partnering together to facilitate data flow between an EHR, Laboratory Informatics System, and an analytic application to help clinicians coordinate care for  breast cancer patients.

These 7 groups are expected to provide results from their research using the grant money by September 15, 2017.

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