The Boards of Directors of both the Nebraska Health Information Initiative (NEHII) and the Iowa Health Information Network (IHIN) have approved forming a strategic partnership between the two non-profit organizations. In November, the entities announced plans to move forward with the due diligence process which was recently completed by both boards.
Under the arrangement, which closed today, NEHII will continue all services of IHIN as IHIN remains the state designated entity for purposes of administering and governing the statewide Iowa health information network.
“Strategically aligning these organizations will better serve the healthcare data needs in Iowa and Nebraska,” said Ted Boesen, IHIN Board Chair. “NEHII is one of the nation’s most advanced and mature HIEs. Iowa’s physicians, health care facilities and patients will benefit from becoming part of the Nebraska infrastructure and the additional value-added services they are able to provide clinicians, enabling delivery of better health outcomes.”
As stewards of data for more than 1,000 healthcare organizations across both states participating in HIE services, joining NEHII and IHIN will form a regional health data utility for the Midwest, providing vital information services for continuity of health care. This is essential, especially during public health emergencies such as the COVID-19 pandemic, because communities rely on health information just like electricity, water and communication services.
“Iowans and Nebraskans often seek care across our respective state lines. Being able to easily transmit clinical information among the care team, no matter where they are located, clearly contributes to better coordination of care and ultimately better outcomes,” said NEHII Board Chair Michael White MD.
“This alignment and the utilization of NEHII’s existing structure will critically enhance the support that healthcare professionals need, especially right now. We look forward to building capacity for the future and finding additional opportunities to ensure our providers have the tools they need for excellent service delivery,” said Kelly Garcia, interim director of the Iowa Department of Public Health.
“NEHII and IHIN are already successfully collaborating on community information exchanges, known as Unite Nebraska and Unite Iowa, that address social determinants of health issues,” Boesen explained. “This partnership is a natural progression of the work we started together earlier this year.”
NEHII’s President and CEO Jaime Bland concluded: “This new Nebraska-Iowa affiliation will strengthen the region’s core HIE services and bring needed innovation to help our healthcare communities.”