Health Information Exchange: Convening Participants in Educational Forums

Collaboration and Conversation Lead to Increased Engagement, Increased Usage

More than 90 HealtheConnections participants gathered together in the North Country in May at two separate Health Information Exchange (HIE) Symposiums to learn about new services, see demonstrations of portal capabilities, and discuss HIE usage with a panel of their peers. HealtheConnections has once again partnered with Fort Drum Regional Health Planning Organization (FDRHPO) to put on these symposiums, and the response has been exceedingly positive. The conversations were thoughtful, and attendees were actively engaged for the duration of the event.

It is clear that participants are looking for this level of engagement. “To get the most out of their HIE services, users are seeking opportunities to connect with their colleagues and have a cooperative discussion about their needs,” says Staci Romeo, Vice President of HIE Customer Engagement Services. “What better way to accomplish this goal than to come together as peers and work collaboratively?”

Participants at all experience levels are welcome, including those who are new to the HIE and those who have been with HealtheConnections since the beginning. As presentations and conversations unfold, the variety of perspectives offers a rich dialogue that simply isn’t possible in smaller, segmented arenas.

Identifying solutions that have been tested in a working environment is a key element to the success of the symposiums, says Tim Kelly, an HIE Customer Engagement account manager with HealtheConnections for the past 6 years. “Participants come to us asking for better ways to incorporate the HIE into their workflow every day, and we give them plenty of tried-and-true suggestions,” Kelly says. “In these symposiums, though, they have the opportunity to connect with people who have been really successful, and that dialogue makes an incredible difference.”

Attendees enjoyed a half-day event, where members of HealtheConnections and FDRHPO presented on core HIE services, new features and functions, demonstrated capabilities, answered questions, and facilitated conversation between users from different specialties. To cap off the event, a panel of experienced healthcare professionals – and HIE users – spoke about their experience with HealtheConnections, offering advice on how to make the most of the information that’s at their fingertips.

As a result, HealtheConnections is expanding its reach and planning programs throughout its full region to give participants an opportunity to convene in a larger forum. The North Country symposiums in Watertown and Canton just wrapped up in May, and there are more in the pipeline for Syracuse, Utica, and Binghamton in the coming months.

“Participant engagement and satisfaction is at the core of what we do,” says Romeo. “Providing a forum for expression and conversation is an integral part of delivering on the value that our participants expect from us.”

To learn more about the HealtheConnections HIE, take a look around our website or send us a note at