Planning for Health Information Exchange

On October 16, 2009, Wisconsin submitted its application for the State health information exchange (HIE) Cooperative Agreement Program funding opportunity. Wisconsin’s project for statewide HIE was titled “Wisconsin Relay of Electronic Data for Health” or “WIRED for Health”. The goal of the WIRED for Health project was to build substantial HIE capacity statewide to support providers’ meaningful use of electronic health records and enable an efficient, appropriate, and secure flow of information to optimize decisions for health. The approach was to plan, develop, and implement the standards-based, secure electronic exchange of patient and health data.

As a part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, Wisconsin received a total of $9.441 million for the planning and implementation of a statewide electronic HIE network and services to enable healthcare providers to be meaningful users of electronic health record technology and promote better coordination of patient care. The statewide network would also help improve the quality and efficiency of healthcare delivery in Wisconsin.

The WIRED for Health Board and the Department of Health Services completed the development of Wisconsin’s Strategic and Operational Plan (SOP) and the federal Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT approved the plan in December 2010.

To view the original SOP, along with the 2012 SOP update, click here.


The State-Designated Entity: WISHIN

In 2010, Governor Doyle signed Wisconsin Act 274, authorizing the state to select a qualified nonprofit corporation to serve as the state-designated entity (SDE) to govern statewide HIE.  Following a competitive application process, the WIRED for Health Board recommended to the Secretary of the Department of Health Services (DHS) that the Wisconsin Statewide Health Information Network (WISHIN) be the SDE to oversee the implementation of the WIRED Board’s Strategic & Operational Plan. The State officially announced its intention to designate WISHIN, a not-for-profit organization formed by the Wisconsin Hospital Association, Wisconsin Medical Society, Wisconsin Collaborative for Healthcare Quality, and Wisconsin Health Information Organization, as the SDE on October 25, 2010.

With the DHS’ oversight, WISHIN assumed the responsibilities of the former WIRED for Health Board as well as the program responsibilities of the State Health Information Exchange Cooperative Agreement Program.

As the SDE to govern statewide health information exchange, WISHIN is responsible for implementing Wisconsin’s SOP.  The plan requires multi-stakeholder collaboration and emphasizes the ongoing development of government and policy structures.  WISHIN’s Board is broad and balances public and private stakeholder representation, including Medicaid, public health, hospitals, providers, commercial payers, employers, and consumers.

Today, WISHIN continues to work with its founders and other leaders in the healthcare field to meet its mission, vision, and goals.