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2014 Press Kit 1213 Hermann Drive, Suite 135 Houston, Texas 77004 (832) 564-2599

Table of Contents


Connecting for a Healthier Community


Fast Facts


A Collaborative Beginning


The Health Information Exchange Concept


Community Value of HIE






Participating Organizations


Board Members

10. Management Team 11. Supportive Organizations 12. Healthconnect News 13. Press Contacts 14. National and Statewide Context 15. The HIE Wave 16. Current News Topics

Connecting For A Healthier Community

Connecting For A Healthier Community Healthconnect is pioneering a secure network of electronic health records to link all providers in Southeast Texas thus enabling higher quality healthcare at a more affordable cost. Healthconnect is a nonprofit, community-governed health information exchange (HIE) with broad support from area healthcare organizations and the Harris County Medical Society. It serves a 20 county region spanning from Austin county in the west to Orange county in the east. Healthconnect has received letters of interest from 90 hospitals and more than 7500 physicians. The organization signed its first contract in July 2012. Several major hospital systems, a safety-net clinic and more than 2100 physicians are among the first contracted participants in the exchange.

Healthconnect began exchanging patient information electronically in April 2013. Participation agreements with additional major providers are expected within the next few months.

Participation fees, value added services and community support

Supportive Organizations

Over 7000 physicians and 90 hospitals have provided letters of interest supporting the exchange.

Major Participating Providers

• Baptist Hospitals of Southeast Texas • CHRISTUS Health of Southeast Texas • Harris Health System • Houston Methodist • Texas Children’s Hospital • Southeast Texas Medical Associates • UT Medical Branch at Galveston • Kelsey–Seybold Clinic • Renaissance Physicians Organization • Legacy Community Health Services • MHMRA of Harris County • Houston Fire Department • City of Houston Health and Human Services • Galveston County Health District • The Medical Center of Southeast Texas • Companion DX Reference Laboratory • Quest Diagnostics • Houston Medical Imaging


• Center for Houston’s Future • Harris County Healthcare Alliance • Harris County Medical Society • The George McMillan Fleming Center for Healthcare Management • Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce • Houston Technology Center • Jefferson County Medical Society

Heathconnect is the only Health Information Exchange in Southeast Texas: • endorsed by area medical societies • recognized by Information Week as one of the country’s 8 leading HIEs • building a community health record with major hospital systems • able to connect EHRs to the community health portal • covering 20 counties in Southeast Texas

Go-Live-First Patient Records Flow April 2013

First Participation Agreement Signed May 2012



Healthconnect is pioneering a secure network of electronic health records to link all providers in Southeast Texas, enabling higher quality healthcare at a more affordable cost.

Organizational Structure

Healthconnect is a 501c3 not-for-profit organization, governed by a community volunteer board, with initial support provided by a grant through the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC).

Date Established 2010

Service Area

20 counties serving 6.8 million people, 133 hospitals and 14,000 physicians.


• Community Health Record: allows authorized providers to access a patient’s medical history, viewed from multiple, independent sources. • Direct Messaging: allows healthcare providers to compose, view and manage direct messages- similar to e-mail, but limited to exchanging messages with only those that have secure Direct e-mail address. • Image Sharing: enables providers to access radiology images from participating image centers and hospitals. • Acute Care Medication Histories: provides hospitals access to acute care medication histories. • Results Delivery: Enables access to archived lab results from all ordering providers. November 2013

Provider Engagement 24 hospitals and 4,200 physicians July 2013

Image Sharing June 2013

Personal Health Record Integration March 2014

Medication Histories for Inpatient Providers April 2014

Projected Engagement 2017 80 hospitals and 7,000 physicians

Fast Facts


A Collaborative Beginning

A Collaborative Beginning Founded through the collaboration of the Center for Houston’s Future and the Harris County Healthcare Alliance, the Greater Houston Health Information Exchange (GHHIE) was launched in 2010. The organization was inspired by the vision of Houston-area community leaders to work hand-in-hand with area healthcare providers to achieve a decisive gain in community health. Many organizations and interested individuals, including the area’s major healthcare systems and medical schools, and the Harris County Medical Society, supported development of GHHIE. The organization was renamed Greater Houston Healthconnect in December 2011. In the early stages of planning and development, Healthconnect has been supported by a federal grant administered through the Texas Health Services Authority (THSA) and by contributions from area organizations. With the seed capital provided through state administered grants in 2011, three separate, but converging grass roots initiatives to build a neutral exchange of electronic health records for the residents of Southeast Texas were launched. These initiatives reflected the efforts of local community members and healthcare professionals bridge the information gap between providers in the interest of promoting better coordination of care. The organization expects to be fully self-sustainable based on a combination of participation fees and philanthropic support. Faced with increases in healthcare expenditures that outpace annual inflation as well as mounting evidence that more healthcare spending does not make Americans healthier, the federal government developed initiatives to assist states to contain healthcare spending and use funds more efficiently. Innovative health information technology is part of the solution. Healthconnect strives to provide that solution.

Patient information moves electronically from physician’s offices to hospitals to pharmacies and labs.

With a patient’s written consent, physicians can view records through the community health portal at any time. Instead of toting often-incomplete piles of records, or waiting for providers to fax information, patients can have their records follow them whenever and wherever needed. This is particularly helpful in emergency situations when access to prior medical history can have a significant effect on outcomes. For further information about Health IT initiatives at the Federal level, view the Office of the National Coordinator’s video through the following link:

The Health Information Exchange Concept

The Health Information Exchange Concept

Community Value of HIE

Community Value of HIE HIEs throughout the country share common goals of enhancing healthcare quality and maximizing efficiencies. Within the Southeast region Healthconnect expects to facilitate improved outcomes and reduced healthcare costs overall. Patient Safety With access to historical information about a patient, physicians are able to provide more informed care often avoiding contraindicated or unnecessary testing, procedures and medications. According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, an average of 3% of all hospitalized patients experience an adverse drug event (ADE) while hospitalized. This directly impacts patient outcomes and in some cases results in disability and death. Considering the current discharge rates within the participating facilities in 20 county region, the exchange of health information among providers could help to prevent over 1,350 adverse drug events annually Patients who experience adverse drug events are twice as likely to die while in the hospital or in 10% of the cases, experience permanent disability. These estimates do not take into account the impact of ADEs that occur in outpatient settings. Another study published in the Journal of Bioinformatics in 2007 asserts that 18% of errors and 70% of ADEs could be avoided with an HIE. Reduced Costs Extrapolating from a national study of HIEs published in Health Affairs in 2005, another report published by the Institute of Medicine September 2012 estimates that $210 billion could be saved annually in the U.S. by eliminating unnecessary testing. Based on assessments of local hospital data, hospitals could realize savings of could realize savings of approximately $11.8 million resulting from 2,400 reduced readmissions. Further savings are expected to accrue from the reduction of duplicate testing, in excess of $46.5 million.


Vision We envision a network that will give timely access to patient information, enhance quality of care by reducing medical and medication errors, and vastly improve the efficiency of healthcare. The Cause A regional health information exchange is a community resource that will play a critical role in healthcare infrastructure. Expected improvements in quality of care as well as the projected long-term societal savings make this project one of the most significant additions to the area’s healthcare system in recent history. Yet implementation of such a complex information system takes time and careful planning. It’s a long-term project that requires vision, tenacity and the will of decision makers and citizens. The network’s value will increase in proportion to the number of providers who are exchanging information. Although providers pay an annual participation fee, modest additional support will be needed from the community and value added services in order for the system to be sustainable long term. The Patient’s Role The Healthconnect network will serve all residents within the 20 county region and operate according to an opt-in model of consent. Patients will sign a form in their doctor’s office authorizing providers to forward medical information to other providers on a need- to-know basis. Patients themselves can access their own information through a patient portal app of their choice, thus empowering them to play a more active role in their own care and ensure that their records are up-to-date.


Endorsements Healthconnect is endorsed by the following organizations:

Many of the area’s leading health systems have signed agreements as early adopters to participate in the health information exchange. These organizations are in various stages of implementation. The first organization went live in April 2013. Hospitals & Health Systems Baptist Hospitals of Southeast Texas CHRISTUS Health Harris Health System Houston Methodist Texas Children’s Hospital The Medical Center of Southeast Texas UTMB Health Major Physician Groups & Community Health Services AccessHealth City of Houston Health and Human Services Galveston County Health District Healthcare for the Homeless-Houston Houston Fire Department Kelsey-Seybold Clinic Legacy Community Health Services MHMRA of Harris County Montrose Counseling Center Renaissance Physicians Organization Southeast Texas Medical Associates UTHealth (UT Physicians)

For a complete list of independent physicians visit our website. Diagnostic and Ancillary Companion Dx Houston Medical Imaging Quest Diagnostics Surescripts

Participating Organizations

Participating Organizations

Greater Houston Healthconnect Board

Greater Houston Healthconnect Board Chris McKee Associate Vice President for Business Affairs, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

Greg Bernica CEO, Harris County Medical Society Marc Boom, M.D CEO, Houston Methodist

Ruthanne Mefford Executive Director, Child Advocates of Fort Bend

Chris Born CEO, Texas Children’s Health Plan Katy Caldwell Executive Director, Legacy Community Health Services

Ivo Nelson CEO, Next Wave Health

George Conklin CIO, CHRISTUS Health

Ben Raimer, M.D. Senior VP, University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston

Nicholas Desai, MD, DPM, MBA CMIO, Houston Methodist

Robert Robbins, M.D. President & CEO, Texas Medical Center

Kevin Dillon SVP, CFO, and COO, UT Health Science Center

Dana Sellers CEO, Encore Health Resources

Carol Edwards CEO, Access Health William Gilmer, M.D. Neurologist, private practice Bernard Harris, Jr., M.D. CEO, Vesalius Ventures Michael Jhin CEO Emeritus, St. Luke’s Episcopal Health System Kelly B, Lobley, M.D. Co-Managing Physician for Clinical Information Technology, Kelsey-Seybold Clinic

Tim Tindle Executive Vice President and CIO, Harris Health System Mark Toups, M.D. Physician executive, CHRISTUS Health–Beaumont Umesh Verma CEO, Blue Lance

Management Team

Management Team

Jim Langabeer, Ph.D. President & CEO

Phil Beckett, Ph.D. Chief Technology Officer

Dr. Langabeer has spent most of his career focused on quality improvements in healthcare delivery, specifically in emergency and cardiovascular medicine. His interest and passion are in the intersection of information technology, cognitive decision making, and medicine, and his career has taken him from hospital administration to chief operations executive in a technology and consulting firm, and to healthcare research and teaching. He is also on the faculty at Baylor College of Medicine (Emergency Medicine) and the University of Texas Health Science Center. His research (funded by the American Heart Association and the Centers for Disease Control, among others) has been published in over 50 medical and business journals, 5 books, and hundreds of technical reports and presentations. He has a PhD from the University of Lancaster (England) in Decision Sciences and is also an Emergency Medical Technician and a Fellow in the Healthcare Information and Systems Society.

Phil Beckett is a healthcare technologist with a goal of leveraging the electronic health record to improve patient outcomes, facilitate coordination of care, and assist advanced decision support.

Shkelzen Hoxhaj MD Chief Medical Advisor

Jennifer L. Mikhail Project Manager

Tiffany Champagne Vice President

Tonja Money Business Development Manager

Robin S. Mansur Chief Marketing Officer

Amanda Clinton Administrative Coordinator

Joseph Say Solutions Architect

Phil joined GHH from Baylor College of Medicine (BCM) where he was Executive Director for Commercial Solutions. In collaboration with physician leaders at BCM, he took a lead role in expanding the model of the EHR beyond the electronic medical record application to a full suite of tools to support patient care and research. Phil also played a leadership role to encourage adoption of the EHR through customization. Phil has spearheaded advances in development and management of data interfaces, patient entered data, improved billing, disease management and device integration. Working with both vendors and end users, Phil expanded the EHR application beyond a facsimile of the paper record to a more robust tool that can assist in clinical decision making and better patient care. Dr. Beckett holds a PhD in Biochemistry from Aberdeen University, Scotland.

Supportive Organizations

Supportive Organizations Nearly 80% of all area hospitals and 50% of area physicians have signed letters expressing an interest in participating in the health information exchange. Hospitals & Health Systems

Tenet Health System

Angleton Danbury Medical Center

Texas Children’s Hospital

Bellville General Hospital

Tyler County Hospital


TOPS Surgical Specialty Hospital

Cleveland Regional Medical Center

UT MD Anderson Cancer Center

Cornerstone Hospitals

UT Medical Branch at Galveston

Devereux Hospitals

Winnie Community Hospital

East Houston Regional Medical Center EMURUS Hospitals Gulf Coast Medical Center Harris Health System Harris County Psychiatric Center HCA Health South Houston Methodist Intracare Kindred Healthcare Memorial Hermann Health System Memorial Hermann Specialty Hospital Kingwood Menninger Clinic Hospital Nexus Specialty Hospitals Oakbend Medical Center Reliant Rehabilitation Hospital North Houston San Jacinto Methodist Hospital SCA Houston Hospital for Specialized Surgery Solara Hospital Conroe St. Anthony’s Hospital St. Luke’s Episcopal Health System Sugar Land Specialty Hospital

Over 7,500 Physicians Large Groups Include: Baylor College of Medicine CHRISTUS Provider Network Greater Houston Anesthesiology, PA Houston Eye Associates Kelsey-Seybold Medical Group PLLC Medical Center Emergency Physicians Group Medical Clinic of Houston Mental Health Mental Retardation Authority The Methodist Hospital Physician Organization OBGYN Associates Renaissance Physician Organization Singleton & Associates Synergy Radiology Associates Texas Children’s Physician Services Organization UT M.D. Anderson Cancer Center UTMB Health UT Health Science Center

News Features Noteworthy news features include: • Beaumont Enterprise: SE Texas Hospitals To Share Patient Info Electronically • EHR Intelligence: Everything’s bigger in Texas, including newly expanded HIE • Fox News 26: Electronic Medical Records and You, a two-part series with Emily Aiken Part One Part Two • Houston Business Journal: Technology Push Could Curb some Houston Health Care Cost • Houston Business Journal: Houston Patient Data Exchange Partners With Genetic Testing Lab • Houston Chronicle: Sharing Health Info Vital Yet Lacking • Information Week: 8 Health Information Exchanges Lead the Way • Journal of Healthcare Information Management: The Evolution of Health Information Exchange • TMC News: Greater Houston Healthconnect Provides Doctors with Patients’ Health History Recent News Releases (April - October 2013) • Healthconnect Selects Surescripts to Reduce Medication Errors • The Medical Center of Southeast Texas Expands Regional Health Information Network • Quest Diagnostics, First National Laboratory to partner with Greater Houston Healthconnect to Improve Quality of Patient Care • Kelsey-Seybold Clinic Expands Region’s Health Information Exchange

Healthconnect News

Healthconnect News

Press Contacts

Press Contacts In addition to Healthconnect board members and staff, the following individuals listed below are supporters and members of the community available to speak on Healthconnect’s behalf. If you would like to speak with one of these individuals please contact Robin Mansur at or (832) 564-2599. Katy Caldwell Executive Director, Legacy Community Health Services Myra Davis VP of Information Services, Texas Children’s Hospital Shkelzen Hoxhaj, MD Chief of Emergency Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine Karen Love SVP, Community Health Choice Elena Marks Baker Institute Scholar in Health Policy Catherine Mosbacher President and CEO, Center for Houston’s Future Contact information for Healthconnect board members and staff is available on the website.

Healthconnect is part of a growing health IT movement fueled by numerous cooperative government initiatives that span the federal, state, and local levels. These initiatives began with bipartisan support at the federal level. In 2004, the first major step forward came with the Bush Administration’s creation of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC). The ONC would oversee the “development and nationwide implementation of an interoperable health information technology infrastructure to improve the quality and efficiency of health care.” In 2009, to provide the financial means for healthcare providers to build the infrastructure necessary to support the goal, Congress and the Obama Administration passed the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act as one part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA or the Economic Stimulus). HITECH provided funding for states to develop health information exchanges (HIEs) to enable information-sharing among patients and their healthcare practitioners. This sharing closes the knowledge gap within the current fragmented and non-coordinated system of care. These health IT initiatives are separate from the Affordable Care Act. HIEs have received grass-roots support in other states. For instance, in Michigan and Utah, hospital leaders put aside competitive inclinations and formed HIEs, knowing it was the “right thing” to do to improve quality for their patients. In Indiana, physicians provided the momentum behind the creation of the statewide HIE.

In Texas, as early as 2007, the Public Health Task Force Report in Houston cited the need for an electronic network that would enable hospitals to better direct patients to appropriate treatment settings. This recognition came in light of the longstanding overuse of emergency departments for issues more efficiently treated in primary care settings. In March 2010, the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) received funding from the federal ONC through the State HIE Cooperative Agreement Program, a program established through ARRA. HHSC distributes funding at the local level to organizations such as Healthconnect. The Texas Health Services Authority (THSA), under contract with HHSC, promotes the multiple HIEs in Texas and coordinates their activities at the state level by ensuring broad input from stakeholders, such as patients and other health care consumers, physicians, hospitals, and health plans. THSA also works to protect individual patient privacy. The federal government is now requiring providers to be more accountable for their quality of care through the Accountable Care Organization (ACO) model. Under this model, providers assume more financial risk for a patient. If a patient is readmitted for the same complaint the next day, the provider may not be reimbursed. ACOs need reliable and speedy information to best manage their patient-centered focus on prevention and the reduction of unnecessary hospitalizations. HIEs are a necessary bridge linking the hospital and physician practices that together form the ACO.

Healthconnect in the National and Statewide Context

Healthconnect in the National and Statewide Context

The HIE Wave

The HIE Wave HIEs Reach Sustainability And Achieve Permanent Role In Healthcare

The concept of health information exchange has existed for some time and has seen several evolutionary stages. With the widespread adoption of electronic medical records systems by hospital and physician groups, HIEs are proliferating throughout the country and achieving sustainability beyond their initial grant support. Several of the larger, well-established HIEs are fully sustainable based soley on operating revenue and private sector support. Forty states have at least one community HIE at the local, regional or state level. Some notable national HIEs include: CliniSync in Ohio Colorado Regional Health Information Organization Healthbridge in Ohio Indiana Health Information Exchange Maine HealthInfoNet Michigan Healthconnect

Healthconnect was founded to help solve some of healthcare’s most complex and long-standing problems. The Healthconnect team is ready and willing to comment on the following topics of current interest: • The role of data sharing in avoiding duplicative and unnecessary procedures • Healthcare reform and health information exchange • Protecting privacy in the era of electronic medical record sharing • The role of patient health information sharing in reducing healthcare spending • The role of patient health information sharing in improving patient outcomes • Meeting Meaningful Use Requirements • How health information sharing improves emergency medical services

Current News Topics

Current News Topics

Healthconnect Press Kit - February 2014