Maryland Health Information Exchange

Posted on Tuesday, October 23, 2012

By Angela Plunkett and Scott Afzal

Date/Time: Thursday, November 1, 2012 7:10 pm Location: ITE 459, UMBC

Health Information Exchange (HIE) involves the secure electronic sharing of clinical and administrative information among disparate health information systems for clinical care, process improvement/simplification, research, and reporting. Widespread adoption of HIE has the potential to create efficiencies in the health care delivery system by reducing duplicate medical tests and improving care coordination among health providers, leading to better health outcomes for patients and public health.

Strategies to accelerate HIE are being implementing nationwide to realize the full benefits that HIE can provide. In August 2009, CRISP was designated as Maryland's statewide HIE. Efforts to facilitate the exchange of clinical information have focused on value-based technology solutions, sound privacy and security policies, financial sustainability, transparency, and stakeholder collaboration. Over the last two years, the statewide HIE has made considerable progress in implementing the infrastructure to support HIE; all acute care hospitals are now making electronic patient information available to other providers. The statewide HIE includes over four million unique patients and, at the end of September 2012, has more than 27 million clinical documents available. HIE is a core technical requirement in supporting coordinated episodic care delivery in the context of the Affordable Care Act and evolving value-based payment reforms.


Angela Plunkett is Division Chief, for Health Information Exchange at the Maryland Health Care Commission's (MHCC) Center for Health Information Technology. Angela manages the health information exchange Policy Board and coordinates various health information technology regulatory and research initiatives of the MHCC to advance secure health information exchange and widespread adoption of electronic health records. Angela holds a M.A. and M.P.P. from the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration and Harris School of Public Policy.

Scott Afzal is a principal of Audacious Inquiry and directs the firm's Health Information Systems practice. He joined the firm in 2007, bringing several years of project management and systems integration expertise. Scott has served as the Program Director of Maryland's statewide health information exchange planning effort since the inception of CRISP, Maryland's state-designated entity for HIE. Scott is responsible for the successful deployment of the CRISP HIE infrastructure and for development of new service offerings. Scott holds a BSBA in Business Management from Bucknell University.

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