Parkland and Knox hospitals join effort to modernize hospital reporting infrastructure across Texas.
BALTIMORE and AUSTIN, Texas – September 28, 2021 – The Texas Health Services Authority (THSA), HASA (a health information exchange in Texas covering multiple regions), and Audacious Inquiry, a national industry-shaping health IT company, today announced the addition of Parkland Memorial Hospital and Knox County Hospital as pilot hospital partners. The partnership is focused on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)’ Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) Strengthening the Technical Advancement and Readiness of Public Health Agencies via Health Information Exchange (STAR HIE) Program. The STAR HIE Program supports innovative health information exchange services that benefit public health agencies and improves the health information exchange services available to support communities disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. THSA’s project under the STAR HIE Program, focuses on modernizing hospital capacity reporting across Texas, to ensure health systems can easily share data with state health departments and federal response authorities during public health emergencies, including the COVID-19 pandemic.
Through the STAR HIE Program, THSA and HASA are working to demonstrate standards-based, real-time reporting of hospital capacity data for the purpose of reducing burden on hospitals and improving data fidelity. As part of this effort, THSA and HASA are leveraging the Situational Awareness for Emergency Response (SANER) Project, an industry-wide collaboration led by Audacious Inquiry, to adopt and test Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) standards for more effective data-sharing among health systems and public health entities across the state. Audacious Inquiry, the technology partner for the project, will work with Parkland Memorial Hospital and Knox County Hospital to identify how best to adopt the specifications within their unique systems.
“Knox County Hospital is not afraid of a challenge,” said Stephen Kuehler, CEO of Knox County Hospital District. “We are proud to represent the rural healthcare community in this pilot project to ease the burden of public health reporting during a pandemic.”
“We pride ourselves with being part of innovative projects that provide up-to-date information when needed,” said Joseph Longo, MBA, CHCIO, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer at Parkland. “Being able to rapidly share data among our peers will enable all of us to better serve the patients in our communities.”
In September 2020, THSA was one of five organizations across the country to receive funding from ONC to develop health information exchange services that benefit public health agencies and improve health information exchange services that support communities disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“By joining as pilot partners on our STAR HIE Program project efforts, Parkland Memorial Hospital and Knox County Hospital are leading the way for other hospitals across Texas,” said George Gooch, Chief Executive Officer at THSA. “We’re thankful for the support of Parkland and Knox, and we’re eager to work with them on testing the standards and policies that will make it easier for hospitals everywhere to more easily share capacity data.”
“I appreciate the leadership of Knox County Hospital and Parkland Memorial Hospital joining us to explore how we streamline, improve and reduce the burden of capacity reporting while maintaining the safety rails and privacy of data. Leveraging the Texas Health Information Exchange infrastructure, its governance, existing agreements, and connections makes total sense. HASA is proud to partner with THSA, Audacious Inquiry, and our hospitals to broaden our value to the healthcare community in Texas,” said Phil Beckett, Chief Executive Officer at HASA.
“The pilot partnership commitments of Parkland Memorial Hospital and Knox County Hospital represent an important step in the development of The SANER Project,” said Scott Afzal, President of Audacious Inquiry. “Audacious Inquiry is proud to work with Parkland and Knox to help improve the way hospitals everywhere share capacity data and prepare for future health emergencies.”
Despite recent advances in technology, the ability to share critical healthcare data in real-time is not universal. In the current COVID-19 pandemic, entities have often relied on manual reporting through fax, phone call, and email, which reduces the effectiveness of responses to the virus. SANER leverages application programming interface (API) standards for health information sharing based on HL7® FHIR. It seeks to simplify public health reporting for hospitals across Texas through HIE infrastructure while also supporting Texas’ local health departments and emergency management agencies.
About Knox County Hospital
Founded in 1926, Knox County Hospital District provides healthcare services for residents of Knox County and surrounding areas. This critical access hospital offers a wealth of compassionate and personalized medical services including a 24-hour Emergency Level IV Trauma Center, inpatient, swing-bed, advanced radiology services, a clinical laboratory, home health, physical therapy, ambulance service, cardiac rehabilitation, and social services. The District also owns and operates two rural health clinics, a retail pharmacy, a nursing center, and a durable medical equipment company. For additional information, please call 940‐657‐3535 or visit www.knoxhospital.org.
About Parkland Health & Hospital System
Parkland Health & Hospital System, based in Dallas, is one of the largest public hospital systems in the country, averaging more than 1 million outpatient visits annually. Premier services include the Level I Rees-Jones Trauma Center, the only burn center in North Texas verified by the American Burn Association and a Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. It is the primary teaching hospital of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. The system also includes more than 30 community-based clinics and numerous outreach and education programs. By cultivating its diversity, inclusion and health equity efforts, Parkland enriches the health and wellness of the communities it serves. For more information, visit www.parklandhospital.com.
About the Texas Health Services Authority
The Texas Health Services Authority (THSA) is a public-private partnership established by the Texas Governor and Legislature for the purpose of promoting, implementing and facilitating the secure electronic exchange of health information. The THSA accomplishes this purpose through its health information exchange (HIE), privacy and security certification and supporting programs. Visit us at www.THSA.org.
HASA, a regional health information organization, offers value-based, patient-centered information services intended to improve the health status of individuals and the communities it serves in Texas. As a 501(c)3 community collaborative, HASA fosters trust, cooperation and communication among its stakeholders. Its mission is focused on the quadruple aims, with improved provider experience always top of mind. For more information, visit www.HASA.org.
About Audacious Inquiry
Audacious Inquiry is a national industry-shaping health IT company that provides a connected care platform facilitating the secure transmission of actionable, accurate, and event-driven data across the U.S. healthcare system. Audacious Inquiry’s pioneering software solutions help providers and care managers be proactive during the most important moments, including during transitions of care. Audacious Inquiry’s trusted solutions serve more than 70 million people nationwide. Visit us at ainq.com, or follow us on Twitter at @A_INQ.