For Immediate Release
November 9, 2009

KDHE Office of Communications
communications@kdheks.gov, 785-296-0461

Health Information Exchange Planning Moving Forward

Web site launched, meeting announced

The state’s plan to connect health care systems together electronically continues moving forward. The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE), the state designee for health information technology, is pleased to announce the next meeting for the e-Health Advisory Council and the creation of a web site to keep the public informed on the plan’s progress.

The next meeting of the e-Health Advisory Council is scheduled for Tuesday, November 10 from 1-5 p.m. at the Curtis State Office Building, 1000 SW Jackson, Suite 530, Topeka, and is open to the public. The e-Health Advisory Council is a group of health care stakeholders that is guiding the planning and implementation process of health information exchange in Kansas. Additional meeting dates are scheduled for December 16 and January 14, 2010 with locations to be determined.

To help keep the public informed about the planning and implementation process, KDHE has launched a new web site, www.kanhit.org

“Kanhit.org is a way for Kansans to stay up-to-date on the progress of the health information exchange system,” KDHE Secretary Roderick Bremby said. “As the operational and strategic planning for the health information exchange gets underway in January 2010, we want the public to have easy access to information and developments.”

Currently, the e-Health Advisory Council has been meeting in workgroups which focus on certain facets of the project, including: governance, technology, business operations, finance and legal. In January 2010, the e-Health Advisory Council will begin consolidating the efforts of the workgroups into a strategic plan for Kansas. Throughout 2010, the Council will focus on creating the operational and strategic plans.

The primary goal of health information exchange is to allow healthcare providers and stakeholders to share data for coordinating patient care and to support public entities in understanding and improving health goals for the entire population. Every state will receive funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to help achieve the national goal of every American having an electronic health record by 2014. 

Kansas submitted its grant application to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) on October 16. Kansas expects to receive $9 million for the four-year project, with confirmation of that amount in December and funds available by mid-January.  The initial work will be to develop and submit for approval strategic and operational plans.  Upon acceptance of those plans, the ONC will release funds to implement plans to create a statewide health information exchange that achieves meaningful use of the technology.