Ciitizen to Launch Cures Gateway Enabling Health Information Exchanges to Effortlessly Comply With 21st Century Cures Act Information Blocking Rule
Rochester RHIO is the first HIE in the Ciitizen network to benefit from simplified process for sharing clinical data with patients and their apps
Ciitizen, a consumer healthcare technology company helping patients get full control of their medical records to access more personalized treatment options, announced it will fully launch the Cures Gateway, a platform for Health Information Exchanges (HIEs) to effortlessly comply with patient-initiated requests for medical records. The Gateway will enable records to be delivered to a personal health app selected by the patient, consistent with the 21st Century Cures Act Information Blocking Rule. With this solution, HIEs simplify the process of fulfilling requests without the need to establish patient portals or to hire additional staff or require patients to show up in person to verify their identity.
Rochester RHIO recently implemented the Cures Gateway to help ensure compliance with the 21st Century Cures Act Information Blocking Rule and to assist their participants in assuring seamless patient access to data. Also, Ciitizen has secured initial commitments from other HIEs including HEALTHeLINK in Western NY and CRISP (Chesapeake Regional Information System for Patients), to implement the Gateway in the coming months with coverage for millions of patients. The Cures Gateway will allow HIEs to reduce the burden of patient access on the participating providers and hospitals, labs and radiology centers that they handle data for.
“HIEs have provided valuable clinical data exchange services to their providers and other healthcare stakeholders for decades,” said Glenn Keet, VP of HIE Strategy for Ciitizen. “They are the natural and logical place to extend these services to patients since they already aggregate and organize medical records for patients across many disparate suppliers. They can most easily comply with the new regulations to allow patients to obtain their records while also performing this service for their providers and stakeholders so they don’t have to.”
The Cures Gateway is one component of the Ciitizen HIE Platform, which includes Prism, Ciitizen’s HIE-specific data warehouse and analytics reporting platform, and iQHD, the top-ranked data quality Consolidated Clinical Document Architecture (CCDA) inspector for HIEs. The Ciitizen platform performs identity proofing of patients through a comprehensive process of identity resolution, validation and verification aimed at achieving NIST Level 2 requirements. The Gateway will reduce or eliminate the burden on HIEs and their stakeholders by handling this identity proofing for them as well as the transformation and delivery of electronic medical records into a personal health record for the patient.
The Gateway includes several aspects that will ensure compliance with the information blocking rule. Whether it is identity proofing standards; vetting of personal health application prior to connection; secure transport of records using either the HIE or FHIR standards to policies governing patient matching and data breach; secure transport of records to patients or their chosen apps; and transparency to the public regarding personal health app privacy policies, based on the multi-stakeholder vetted CARIN Code of Conduct, patients and HIEs can be assured that the information remains secure and vetted.
“Since the information blocking rules went into effect in April, we’ve seen HIEs struggle with compliance as they are unaccustomed to sharing data with patients. Ciitizen’s Cures Gateway is designed to eliminate the complexity so HIEs can simply make electronic data available without the need for portals or additional patient staff to handle patient inquiries,” said Deven McGraw, co-founder and chief regulatory officer at Ciitizen. “Data privacy is critical in healthcare – and privacy includes providing patients with access to their information. When I was at OCR and ONC, we fought for this right as it is crucial to empower patients to better partner with their providers to find the best course of treatment for themselves and enable caregivers to be involved in their care. Our technology empowers individuals with their data and will advance personalized medicine initiatives moving forward.”
For participating and consenting patients with certain diseases, Ciitizen will improve and enhance their medical records received from HIEs to research grade through human and machine learning processes, including adding terminology encodings for the unstructured data. This is done at no cost to the patient and makes their data more easily matched to precision medicine, clinical trials and medical research, some of which will generate revenue for the patient.
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Speaking this week at SHIEC, on Monday, August 16, Ciitizen and Rochester RHIO are demonstrating the power of the Cures Gateway through the example of how an HIE can facilitate patient access even if they have not historically engaged directly with patients or have existing infrastructure to engage with patients.
“Ciitizen’s Cures Gateway removes the challenges associated with the information blocking rule by remotely identify proofing patients, matching patients to their data, and delivering that data securely to the patient,” said John Sheehan, CEO of Rochester RHIO. “The Ciitizen team has truly built a platform that not only addresses the data needs of patients but that also ensures HIEs and healthcare providers can comply in a secure manner. We are confident in our information sharing capabilities for all providers and patients in our network.”
For over two decades, HIEs have provided data sharing capabilities among different providers and health care organizations, now covering 92% of the U.S. population. HIEs help improve data access for individual patient care while also ensuring that data is collected to advance population and public health, which is critical in a pandemic. To reach the full potential of this data access, the quality of the data and the ability to analyze it in large volumes is crucial. Ciitizen will help HIEs achieve all of these operational milestones.