Established as a result of a feasibility study that found strong support for a new health information network, HealthInfoNet, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, operates Maine’s health information exchange (HIE), a standardized electronic system that gives its users the ability to share patient health information securely. The fee that the HIE’s members pay to participate in the exchange provides HealthInfoNet’s operating capital.
Based in Portland, HealthInfoNet is an independent, non-profit organization that is active with local and national philanthropies, and with both the state and federal governments. These organizations provide the HIE with grants and contracts for new research and development of information services that support the residents of Maine. HealthInfoNet is experiencing rapid growth year over year, in part because if its unique business model. As a non-profit organisation, HealthInfoNet has an uncommon strategy that serves as a successful financial model for HIE growth and sustainability. All 38 hospitals and 490 practices within the exchange pay a fee for participation, which supports the operating capital needed to run the organisation.
Prior to the launch of HealthInfoNet in Maine, most patient information was stored in paper-based medical records or within non-connected, hospital-specific electronic systems. This made that patient data difficult for providers to both access and share across unaffiliated organizations, which was particularly a big problem when such information was needed during emergency situations.