Addressing the Opioid Crisis: How HealtheConnections Uses HIE Data and Analytics to Affect Population Health Improvement

The opioid crisis is a top issue in the public health space, one in which HIE data could provide valuable insights to inform a coordinated response. In partnership with a county health department in our service area, HealtheConnections has launched a pilot program for opioid surveillance that supports their efforts.

HealtheConnections built a self-service surveillance application to be added to its community myData system. myData is a platform that uses HIE data, dashboards, and registries to help a clinician easily access and understand their patient profiles, identify gaps in care, and see how they rank in quality measures.

This surveillance application contains opioid-related hospitalization data to assist the county’s opioid work group to take action. By providing them with nearly real-time hospital discharge data, they are able to monitor the opioid epidemic in their county and identify clusters of overdoses to guide intervention strategies. HealtheConnections’ application allows the task force to visualize the data in maps or lists, with filtering options that help them answer questions about their population, identify trends, and develop targeted solutions.

Similar hospitalization data are currently available to the county health departments through state reports, but there is a caveat – there’s typically a 6-12 month lag time. At that point, the information has significantly decreased in value. With HIE data through HealtheConnections, that time is closer to 24 hours.

The surveillance project is currently in pilot stages with the intent to roll out on a broader scale.
Health information exchange has proven to be a critical tool in support of clinical action, developing technologies that support interoperability and access to data that providers require at their fingertips. With the onset of value-based care structures, the need for data-driven solutions has only grown.

HealtheConnections has developed analytics tools like myData in response to this need. We’ve built a foundation of services and technology that drive clinical action, but there is untapped potential to take these same concepts and bring additional value to a new audience. Local health departments and population-level initiatives can benefit from partnerships with regional HIEs and take advantage of New York’s robust statewide network of health information. By leveraging our breadth of HIE data, services and analytics experience, we can also support our partners taking population-level action.