Choose Your HIO
eHealth Information for Providers
A Guide for Health Care
The Pennsylvania eHealth Partnership is responsible, under Act 76 of 2016, for the creation and maintenance of Pennsylvania's secure health information exchange, known as the PA Patient & Provider Network, or P3N.
For you as a health care provider, the P3N improves and coordinates patient care by helping you to find your patients' medical records—in real time—anywhere on the P3N network.
In order to participate in the P3N and statewide health information exchange, a health care provider must first connect to a certified regional network, called a health information organization, or HIO.
Five certified HIOs currently operate within Pennsylvania. Information about these HIOs—including contacts, provider types served, structure, services provided, service areas, and financial/fee structure—is linked below. The information provided is based on questionnaires completed by the HIOs; you should contact each HIO for the most current information.
The decision about which HIO to choose is entirely up to you. However, the DHS eHealth Partnership, which administers the P3N, recommends that you keep the following questions in mind as you pursue an affiliation:
- Do I want an electronic health information exchange (eHIE) service that is fully integrated with my electronic health record (EHR) system, or one that works through a portal? Portals are generally less expensive, but may not adapt to your workflow as readily.
- Do I want to be able to pick and choose which documents I see from other providers, or do I want to receive a longitudinal record?
- Do I want the ability to download clinical information from other sources into my EHR? If so, do I want this to occur automatically, or do I want to make this decision on a case-by-case basis?
- How do I want these imported documents to be identified?
- Do I want all of the records in my system to be available to others in the P3N, or do I have special considerations (such as mental health, HIV/AIDS, or substance abuse treatment) that require restriction of some documents?
- Does my EHR vendor support "close to plug-and-play" connection to an HIO, or do I need an HIO that can support specialized connection services such as data transformation and translation?
- If I do require special connection services, does the HIO have experience with my EHR vendor's system(s)?
- What other services does the HIO offer, and do I want or need them?
- Some HIOs charge a fee for connection and a separate fee for ongoing participation. Which HIOs have fees that I can afford?
- Does the HIO enable more efficient reporting into state government in support of public health reporting (immunization, cancer, communicable disease/syndromic surveillance, lab reporting) and Medicaid clinical quality measurement reporting?
- Does the HIO specialize in a particular geography or support a particular provider type? Are those distinctions important to me?
- Does it matter whether or not the HIO absorbs my patients' information into a clinical repository? Such repositories are often required to support advanced analytic capabilities offered by the HIO.