Why is a S-HIE ecosystem important?
Nonmedical social factors such as food, housing, utilities, transportation, and safety significantly influence the health of Coloradans. Unmet social needs limit people from being active in their communities, diminish their overall well-being, and increase the likelihood that a person will develop a chronic disease and not be able to manage their care.
These unmet needs are often disproportionately experienced by Black, Latino, and indigenous populations, and are exacerbated during a crisis, like the COVID-19 pandemic, when people experiencing disparities face even greater barriers to protecting their health.
While many care providers are implementing S-HIE systems (for example, Aunt Bertha, Unite Us, and NowPow) to help address unmet social needs, these systems are not yet connected through an interoperable ecosystem. The goal of creating an interoperable ecosystem for S-HIE is to provide more holistic, customized support by connecting health care systems, human service agencies, and community-based service organizations to coordinate the care being provided to individuals and families in the community, regardless of what systems those organizations use internally.
An effective S-HIE ecosystem harnesses relationships and technologies to reduce disparities and improve health outcomes by:
- Emphasizing people over processes;
- Finding the fit for whole-person and whole-family care; and
- Building a stronger safety net.
At A Glance: MDPH Social Health Information Exchange Efforts
We collaborate and align technology, connecting community resources and the people they serve.
Individual social and health needs are met to promote equity and improved health outcomes in our communities.
Trustworthy, Respectful, Equitable, and Inclusive
Connective, Scalable, Person-centric/Holistic, and Secure
The Colorado Health Institute works with the Metro Denver Partnership for Health (MDPH) as a convener, facilitator, and strategic advisor. For the Social Health Information Exchange initiative, CHI’s activities include:
- Convening the MDPH S-HIE partners for cross-sector coordination and collaboration.
- Designing and implementing ongoing collaboration infrastructure and governance structure. This includes creating a decision-making framework and securing signed Memoranda of Understanding or other agreements as needed.
- Developing and implementing a S-HIE Interoperability Plan to coordinate regional technical interoperability projects, in coordination with the Office of eHealth Innovation (OeHI) Care Coordination Information Governance Task Force. This includes securing letters of commitment from cross-sector partners.
- Determining the financial vision, structure and strategic priorities for sustainability and implementing that plan.
- Developing a plan for sustained community engagement to ensure community-driven priorities.
Finding the right services at the right time can pose challenges for anyone, but these challenges are exacerbated for those who also face discrimination based on race and ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, ability, language, or other characteristics. Interoperable S-HIE will promote equity by transforming the currently siloed systems, ridden with access barriers, to make them more effective, accessible, and responsive to the needs of every community member.