What a Difference a Decade Makes

DHIN celebrates 10th Anniversary
May 17, 2017

ass="p1">It’s arguable that nothing has changed more in the United States during the last decade than healthcare. From medical and technological breakthroughs to privacy concerns and the Affordable Care Act, keeping up has put stress on consumers and businesses. Tracking health information, doctors’ appointments, lab tests and medical imaging has created a maze of paperwork, password-encoded accounts and frantic, middle of the night internet searches. 

As healthcare has become increasingly complicated, however, one organization has been developing a not-so-secret weapon to corral and communicate it all: Delaware Health Information Network (DHIN), the state’s innovative health information exchange.

“When DHIN launched a decade ago, we had a vision for what we believed could be the most useful and usable health information exchange (HIE) in the nation,” said Dr. Jan Lee, CEO of DHIN. “We knew that we could electronically move medical records and test results statewide, creating a secure Community Health Record. This would allow medical providers to safely share information and patients to think about their health, not worry about where their records were stored or if their test results had been received.”

While 10 years may seem like a lot of time, it is hyper-speed in the world of medical information management. DHIN has been at the cutting edge of HIEs since the beginning: Obtaining nearly 100 percent acute care hospital and Delaware-licensed physician participation; becoming fully self-sustainable as a non-profit corporation; and now, speaking directly to consumers.

“Until now, HIEs only really addressed the medical community,” said Randy Farmer, COO of DHIN and the architect of the organization’s new consumer education campaign. “But now that we have such high levels of participation by medical organizations, consumers of healthcare – which is basically everyone in the state – should understand what DHIN is and how it benefits them every single day.” 

To that end, Farmer and his team launched a simple yet sophisticated animated campaign to capitalize on the biggest TV event of the year – Super Bowl LI – airing their first television spot before and during the game in regional markets.

Since then, the campaign, developed in partnership with a.s.a.p.r. Integrated Marketing of Salisbury, Md., has rolled out digital and traditional print ads, billboards and television and radio spots, all in the quirky, animated style. A new consumer website (www.dhin24seven.org) curates thought-provoking and helpful healthcare articles from internet sources from across the nation and includes a series of entertaining and educational animated videos that explain how DHIN works.

“We are layering our messages so that Delawareans and our neighbors across the region are motivated to learn more,” said Farmer. “We want patients and their families to know that DHIN is bringing new products and services to market that connect people to their own medical information. These services are very empowering.”

Last month, DHIN rolled out a new subscription telemedicine product that allows people to see a Delaware licensed physician from the comfort of their own home or office – with subscribers getting unlimited virtual visits for less than most people’s co-pay for a single office visit (subscriptions as low as $14.95 per month). At the same time, the organization is testing a text-based product called Health Check Alert, that lets people know when their test results are in and when someone logs into their medical record. 

Later this year the organization will launch its own personal health record (PHR), called Health Check Connect - a portal by which consumers will be able to securely access their own medical records within DHIN’s community health record – the same information being accessed by doctors and their staff.

“This is particularly important because while you may be able to see results from one physician on that practice’s portal, it’s limited; you may not be able to see the records or results from your other doctors,” said Lee. “Health Check Connect will bring everything we have together in the Community Health Record to one secure portal so the patient can see a more complete record, much like a credit report.”

The idea, said Lee, is to provide, as DHIN’s slogan says, “Better Communication for Better Healthcare.”

“By providing good tools and information, DHIN supports better healthcare communication, which can, in turn, help rein in spending and keep costs down for the patient and the doctor,” said Lee. “As the television commercial says, ‘It’s real, and it’s happening right here in Delaware.’”

 
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