CRISP, a partnership among Erickson Retirement Communities, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, University of Maryland Medical System, and MedStar Health, began with the ambitious goal of developing a plan for statewide health information exchange (HIE) in Maryland. Against a backdrop of increasing national attention to health information technology (HIT), such as President Bush’s executive order that most Americans should have Electronic Health Records by 2014, the state of Maryland has committed itself to being a leader in driving HIT adoption and innovation. After the initial success of initiatives such as the Maryland Task Force to Study Electronic Medical Records and the Maryland Health Care Commission Privacy and Security Study, the Maryland Health Services Cost Review Commission (HSCRC) and the Maryland Health Care Commission (MHCC) awarded a $250,000 grant to fund the CRISP initiative as one of two concurrent planning projects.
In part due to our preliminary research on HIE, including extensive travel throughout the country to meet with executives participating in HIEs, meetings with health IT solution providers, and development of a preliminary HIE strategy for its clients, AI was selected to play a strong leadership role in the CRISP
planning project. AI team members worked as part of a project team charged with managing three CRISP
workgroups: Community Interaction & Privacy and Security, Exchange Technology & Clinical Workflows, and Business Development & Finance.The workgroups included members from participating hospital systems, Erickson, consulting firms, and various other stakeholder groups. The workgroups each met monthly, in person, for two hours over the duration of eight months. At the meetings, AI team members gave presentations, guided discussion, documented important areas of contention and consensus, and transcribed meeting minutes. Separately, staffers from the project team also conducted individual meetings with workgroup participants to ensure everyone had the opportunity to contribute and voice perspectives.
In addition to managing project workgroups, AI team members were responsible for overseeing day-to-day aspects of the planning effort. These efforts included the following:
- Exploring a variety of technical options for centralized vs. distributed exchange models
- Drafting responses to technical, policy, and legal questions raised by the Maryland Health Care Commission
- Engaging leading experts on issues related to health information technology, policy, privacy and security, and finance
- Serving, along with colleagues from Erickson, as authors of the comprehensive HIE implementation plan for review by the MHCC
Upon completion of the HIE planning initiative, Maryland intends to dedicate significant resources to implementing an HIE across the state. The CRISP
group feels it is uniquely positioned for implementation and is hoping to play a central role in moving the exchange forward.