higi ties health kiosk readings to EHRs through Rush partnership

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higi ties health kiosk readings to EHRs through Rush partnership

By Michael Johnsen - 03/01/2018
Higi, a Chicago company that operates a national network of more than 11,000 health self-screening stations for population health enablement, on Thursday announced the development of a new app that will allow higi users to have data from their screening shared with health care providers who maintain electronic health records (EHRs) in Epic, the most widely-used system. The Rush University Medical Center in Chicago built the app in conjunction with higi.

“Higi is proud to partner with Rush on this important integration, which enables Rush and other organizations who use the Epic EHRs to connect with our more than 11,000 publicly-accessible higi stations to extend their reach into communities, enable more convenient measurement of health data, gain insight into social determinants of health and inform patient treatment plans,” Jeff Bennett, CEO higi, said.

“At Rush, we are focused on improving the health of our surrounding communities,” Shafiq Rab, senior vice president and chief information officer at Rush, said. “A leading cause of morbidity and mortality in Chicago’s West Side is unmanaged hypertension and heart disease. By connecting higi health stations with Epic workflows, we are trying to improve access to care, regularly measure biometrics and work with our community partners to better understand and address social determinants of health.”

In the initial launch of the higi-Epic EHR integration, planned to begin during the third quarter of 2018, Rush patients who receive specialized care for hypertension will be able to measure their biometrics at 211 Jewel-Osco, Meijer, Sams Club and select CVS pharmacy locations across the Chicago area. With the patients’ consent, data from higi will be shared immediately and securely with trusted Rush care providers in Epic’s hypertension registries to decrease the need for blood pressure check visits to Rush clinics.

Based on the results of the launch, this program will be extended to 60,000 additional Rush patients with chronic conditions such as hypertension, pre-diabetes and diabetes.

Also as part of this initiative, Rush is placing additional higi stations into community centers, high schools and other locations to improve access and to address social needs that affect overall health and well-being. Rush’s first higi station deployment was to Franciscan House of Mary and Joseph, a not-for-profit homeless shelter near Rush on Chicago’s West Side where Rush clinicians and students provide free medical services.

At Franciscan House, the Rush team detected a prevalence of severe hypertension in residents that was multiple times higher than for people in the greater Chicago area. This finding inspired Rush’s information technology team to create an interoperable integration with Rush’s Epic EHRs to ensure that data from higi is accessible in real time for Rush clinicians or other community-based providers.

In addition, the higi team is working with the Rush IT team to make the higi – Epic EHR integration application available on the Epic App Orchard marketplace for adoption by other health systems and physician groups that use Epic EHR solutions.