Three years ago, HealthierHere partners identified the need for a Community Information Exchange (CIE) in King County, WA to better connect people with the care, services and support they need to thrive. In the short time since, health care, behavioral health, tribal, community and social service organizations and consumers joined together, with support from HealthierHere, to create a shared vision. They collaboratively developed and launched a governance model, and co-designed the Connect2 Community Network and its policies – all with an unrelenting focus on equity. Watch this brief video to learn more.

Now, we are one step closer to achieving our shared vision of a connected system of whole-person care for our region. We are excited to announce that the Connect2 Community Advisory Group has selected Ready Computing to build and maintain the infrastructure for the Connect2 Exchange. When complete, this interoperable platform will allow health, community-based, tribal and social service organizations to securely exchange the information needed to coordinate care – all from within their own technology systems. Additionally, organizations that don’t currently use a technology system will also have a way to participate and connect.

HealthierHere engaged volunteers from multiple organizations to shape the Request for Proposals (RFP). The ability to coordinate care across sectors without having to sign onto a different system was identified as a critical requirement. Robust privacy and security features were also seen as crucial so that community members feel comfortable sharing their information through the network. Community members told us it was important for them to have access and control over their own data.

A 14-member cross-sector team of partners, along with HealthierHere staff and consultants, evaluated the security, functionality, equity, and financial strength of the proposals from 15 companies. Ready Computing was chosen for its expertise and capabilities to meet our community’s functional, privacy, and security requirements. The company has 10+ years of deep interoperability expertise as a provider of Health Information Exchange (HIE) infrastructure for organizations of all sizes, including Staten Island Performing Provider System (an entity similar to HealthierHere) and the US Department of Veterans Affairs. They have experience working with health systems, government agencies, and community organizations.

Ready Computing demonstrated multiple ways that health care and community partners can share information while protecting client privacy: from real-time integration with existing platforms to securely uploading spreadsheets of services that meet specialized needs. Their solution includes resource directory, referral, and care team functionality. A web/mobile user interface enables community members and care team members such as community health workers to manage their privacy settings and connect with services in their community.

Reaching this critical milestone has been the result of an amazing amount of collaboration and dedication by Connect2 Community Network partner organizations. They have guided every step of this decision, from co-designing technology requirements to recommending vendors. We will continue to work closely with partners to develop the first use cases for Connect2 Exchange and to select initial users.

We are excited to build a future together where people connect with the services they need, resulting in a healthier, more equitable community for all.

This post was originally published to the HealthierHere blog

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