Funding will Improve Health Information Sharing for COVID-19 Vaccination Tracking

THSA Receives Supplemental Award from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to Expand Immunization Data Sharing

AUSTIN, TX — March 9, 2021 — The Texas Health Services Authority (THSA), HASA (a health information exchange in Texas covering multiple regions), and Audacious Inquiry announced today new funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) focused on increasing data sharing between jurisdictional Immunization Information Systems (IISs) and Health Information Exchanges (HIEs). ONC’s Strengthening the Technical Advancement and Readiness of Public Health Agencies via Health Information Exchange (STAR HIE) Program will support innovative health information exchange services that benefit public health agencies and improve the health information exchange services available to support communities disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In September of 2020, THSA was selected as a recipient of the STAR HIE Program to leverage the Situational Awareness for Novel Epidemic Response (SANER) Project to simplify public health reporting for hospitals through shared interoperability standards based on HL7® Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR)®. The SANER Project helps health systems and public health officials across the state of Texas find information on hospital admissions, capacity, and other information critical to responding to health emergencies, including the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are grateful to have received the supplemental award from the ONC STAR HIE Program, and it’s a testament to the ability of THSA, HASA, and Audacious Inquiry to solve a critical data-sharing problem in our state and country through the SANER Project,” said George Gooch, Chief Executive Officer at THSA. “With access to additional information on vaccine rates in the capacity tracking platform, Texas will be able to prioritize the highest risk communities and populations and see the full picture of where the most need exists.”

 The new investments will provide opportunities to track vaccination progress, help clinicians contact high-risk patients, and help identify patients due to receive the second dose of the vaccine. The combination of these data streams added to SANER’s capacity tracking dashboard, will help local officials track vaccination progress, understand where there may be gaps in vaccination distribution, and identify high-risk communities.

“The collaboration and synergies of these partners is a powerful combination that will help individuals receive critical vaccines,” said Phil Beckett, Chief Executive Officer at HASA. “We at HASA appreciate the federal funding and the opportunity to partner with THSA and Audacious Inquiry to contribute to a healthier Texas.”

“The work we are doing with THSA and HASA will improve vaccine distribution in the state of Texas,” said Scott Afzal, President of Audacious Inquiry. “This effort will be part of our ongoing work to improve data collection, production, sharing, analysis, and will create what we truly need to track COVID-19: publicly available dashboards with national and state-level info on cases, testing, vaccinations, and hospital admissions.”

The SANER Project is an industry-wide collaboration led by Audacious Inquiry that aims to create more effective data-sharing processes to provide real-time situational awareness of health care system capacity in the COVID-19 pandemic and future public health emergencies. The project is an open-source effort to streamline and accelerate the real-time transmission of de-identified data among health care facilities, critical infrastructure, and governmental response authorities during public health emergencies and disasters.

Learn more about The SANER Project here.

 

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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.

 

About HASA

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.

 

About Audacious Inquiry

Audacious Inquiry (Ai) 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. This information helps at-risk providers and payers working within value-based arrangements reduce costs and improve patient outcomes. With years of experience developing health data exchanges at the federal and state level, Audacious Inquiry is a trusted partner to health plans, health systems, Health Information Exchange Organizations, public health agencies, and federal, state, and local government agencies across the country. Audacious Inquiry’s trusted solutions, which include its flagship Encounter Notification Service® (ENS) and the Patient Unified Lookup System for Emergencies™ (PULSE), serve more than 60 million people nationwide. For more information, visit us at ainq.com, or follow us on Twitter at @A_INQ.