Arizona Begins Implementation of New Roadmap Focused on Health IT and Health Information Exchange Success

Arizona has begun formal implementation of Arizona’s Health IT Roadmap 2.0, aimed at coordinating and advancing health IT (HIT) and health information exchange (HIE) statewide. Implementation kicks off with a public forum in Phoenix on April 2 at the Arizona Medical Association (810 W. Bethany Home Road).

Registration is required to attend the forum. To accommodate those unable to attend in person, webinars will be held on April 3 and April 7. For information on attending the forum or webinars and to register, click here.

“Arizona has a history of moving forward through community collaboration and discussion,” said Lorie Mayer, Arizona’s State HIT Coordinator. “The first two initiatives focus on stakeholder engagement and participation, so implementation begins now with a community discussion of how the flow of information is essential to achieving the Triple Aim of better care, better outcomes and lower costs. Publication of Roadmap 2.0 and the initiation of a community dialog demonstrate Arizona’s intent to continue its focus on building HIT/HIE capabilities to enable that success.”

With the end of federal funding in early 2014, under the State Health Information Exchange Cooperative Agreement Program (SHIECAP), Arizona wanted to ensure a go-forward plan to leverage its already-significant investment in health information.  Unlike many states, Arizona specifically dedicated a portion of its federal funds to produce a plan covering the next three years and beyond.  Of particular importance were the identification of a viable path for continued HIT/HIE adoption and the development of new post-SHIECAP funding sources to sustain growth and operations.

Roadmap 2.0, released in late February, was a collaboration of the Arizona Department of Administration’s Arizona Strategic Enterprise Technology (ADOA-ASET) office, Arizona Health-e Connection and Mosaica Partners, a consulting firm specializing in health information strategy and exchange. It describes 19 actionable initiatives designed to advance HIT/HIE in Arizona, focusing on key areas including stakeholder engagement and policy development, technology infrastructure implementation, and exploration of innovative technology models that support care delivery transformation.

Initial Roadmap 2.0 implementation efforts include developing a common patient consent approach, integrating physical and behavioral health exchange, and providing continued and new HIT/HIE assistance to providers.

“The roadmap planning project involved the ongoing participation of Arizona stakeholders, including more than 300 individuals representing over 70 organizations. We are very pleased with the results and how quickly we were able to move from planning to action,” said AzHeC CEO Melissa Kotrys. “From the beginning, we recognized the importance of using a proven approach developed by HIT/HIE experts Mosaica Partners in building our state’s roadmap and leveraging the commitment of our stakeholders.  The combination of their depth of national HIE expertise and successful approaches for bringing stakeholders together to build an actionable HIE roadmap made them great partners in driving our efforts.”

According to Mosaica Partners President Laura Kolkman, RN, MS, FHIMSS, Arizona’s desire to incorporate a broad base of stakeholders in the process was key to producing a relevant and actionable roadmap.

“We know from experience that plans of this type which engage stakeholders in both the process and implementation are more successful,” she said. “By involving a broad base of stakeholders in an open planning process, Arizona has again demonstrated its leadership and commitment to the use of HIT and HIE to improve individual outcomes and population health while reducing costs.”

Arizona’s Health IT Roadmap 2.0 is available here for download.

State of Arizona Government

Three State agencies are involved in HIT/HIE in Arizona: Arizona Department of Administration’s Arizona Strategic Enterprise Technology (ADOA-ASET) office, Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) – the State’s Medicaid agency – Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS), and the Office of the Governor.  ADOA-ASET provided programmatic oversight to the State HIE Cooperative Agreement Program (SHIECAP).

Arizona Health-e Connection

Arizona Health-e Connection (AzHeC) is a public-private partnership that improves health and wellness by advancing the secure and private sharing of electronic health information.  Incorporated in 2007, AzHeC drives the adoption and optimization of HIT and HIE.  The primary roles it performs include: serving as an educator and clearinghouse for HIT information; researching, developing and advocating statewide HIT policies; and leading and supporting provider adoption of HIT and HIE across Arizona. AzHeC’s largest program, the Arizona Regional Extension Center (REC), has assisted over 2,800 Arizona providers in adopting EHRs and achieving Meaningful Use since its creation in 2010.

About Mosaica Partners

A nationally recognized health information strategy and HIE consulting firm, Mosaica Partners provides services to a wide range of clients including rural and urban communities, hospitals, ACOs, state agencies and HIT coordinators, federal agencies and other healthcare-focused organizations.  Established in 2005, the firm has earned a national reputation for its health information research and strategy capabilities and its expertise and accomplishments in planning, forming, and optimizing HIEs.  Two of Mosaica Partners’ principals authored the definitive book on HIE, The Health Information Exchange Formation Guide, which was named “Book of the Year” by the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS).

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