C10 Standardizing Health Information Exchanges for Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI)

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Monday, August 22, 2011: 3:30 PM-5:00 PM
Panel describes the methodology for public health participation in HIT standardization for Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) programs. Based on the PHDSC HIT Standardization Framework, we describe the EHDI programís needs and priorities for HIT standards; the new EHDI standards at HL7; the process of harmonizing and testing HIT standards at IHE; the establishment of certification process for EHDI information systems at CCHIT; and the deployment of standards-based HIT solutions at the state level.
Hearing loss identified through newborn hearing screening is considered a neuro-developmental emergency.  Thus, hearing screening has received widespread acceptance by public health in the United States and other countries. Yet nearly 50% of infants needing care following screening may not receive it.  Screening results are not consistently communicated to pediatric primary care providers (PCP) by birthing facilities. PCPs do not have ready access to guidance on clinical and diagnostic information to assist care coordination for the infant with suspected hearing loss.  Clinical electronic health records (EHR-S) and public health Early Hearing Detection and Intervention information systems (EHDI-IS) are seldom interoperable and do not share information electronically.

The PHDSC, the CDC EHDI program and several state EHDI programs participated in the HIT standardization activities using the PHDSC methodology described in the Business Case: Role of Public health in HIT Standardization.  The EHDI program was the first public health program in which the PHDSC methodology for public health participation in all phases of HIT standardization has been implemented. This includes identifying needs and priorities for HIT standards, developing new standards, harmonizing and testing HIT standards, and certifying and deploying standards-based IT products. Aligned with the ONC Standards and Interoperability Framework, our methodology assures that HIT standards for EHDI programs are developed through transparent, consensus-based processes, thus enabling standards-based technology adoption.

Specifically, the EHDI Use Case has been used in the new HL7 Public Health Requirements Standards to support state EHDI program activities for care coordination; and the HL7 Public Health Functional Profile to establish certification criteria and processes for interoperable EHR-S and EHDI-IS. The EHDI Content Profile at IHE developed testing methods and tools for EHDI standards. These standards will help enable electronic information exchanges between clinical and public health settings to meet the business needs of both sectors. 

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