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USVI’s First Digital Security Health Information Exchange Environmental Scan Released

Human Services Commissioner Kimberley Causey-Gomez prepares for a news briefing at Government House. (Source photo by Don Buchanan)
Department of Human Services Commissioner Kimberley Causey-Gomez (Source photo by Don Buchanan)

The Department of Human Services (DHS) has announced that the first-ever Digital Security Health Information Exchange Environmental Scan (USVI eScan 2023) has been completed and is available to the public.

Over the last several months, DHS contracted with Community Health IT Inc. (CommHIT) and conducted the first-ever Health Information Exchange eScan. This data will help provide local health-related entities and institutions, real-time access to important patient information, and identify the digital resources and assets needed to further strengthen the territory’s HIE.

The USVI eScan 2023 documents the care coordination needs of not just VI Medicaid members. It also captures the healthcare delivery and digital security ecosystem of healthcare providers, health-related IT professionals,

health executives, government agencies, and other stakeholder organizations that serve VI Medicaid. It provides recommendations to ensure success as the USVI stands up its HIE.

The 312-page USVI eScan 2023 is available in its entirety for viewing at:

https://www.communityhealthit.org/vidhs/

The USVI eScan 2023 was a process of surveys, information gathering, and assessments that create a clear picture of health provider and institutional readiness, as well as infrastructure needs, to electronically connect medical providers safely, securely, and successfully to one another, to patients, and to national databases via the HIE.

The USVI eScan 2023 provides a snapshot of the current landscape, desires, and priorities of several key groups in the Medicaid Beneficiary ecosystem. CommHIT captured this “snapshot” by using approaches that include:

 Quantitative surveys of Medicaid providers, information technology (IT) professionals, and Health-related executives

 Qualitative interviews and focus groups of USVI hospital, federally-qualified health center, and Health Department Clinic personnel

The USVI eScan 2023 was a collaborative effort with the Department of Human Services Medicaid Program.

Medicaid Director, Gary A. Smith oversaw this complex project from start to finish with the support of his senior leadership to ensure its success.

In a statement, V.I. Department of Human Service Commissioner Kimberley Causey-Gomez said, “The USVI eScan 2023 is providing the territory, the information it needs to create a robust and secure Health Information Exchange, or HIE, for short.” “When complete, the HIE will allow health information to be collected, analyzed and shared, to strengthen coordinated care and lower costs, while also improving patient safety and outcomes,” Gomez said.

CommHIT is a 501(c)(6) at the Kennedy Space Center that works with government entities, health systems, and safety net medical facilities to pave a way forward for health information technology (HIT) use those benefits health organizations and their patients. At the Kennedy Space Center, CommHIT is an integral part of a cluster of cybersecurity organizations that protects and monitors the digital security of key business sector entities and critical infrastructure.

CommHIT’s specialty in the digital security and health technology arena is information sharing, federal policy development, and workforce development—particularly for entities that address the health and transportation of vulnerable groups and the public at large.

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