EMSA contracts with the California Association of Health Information Exchanges

The California EMS Authority is pleased to announce that yesterday we officially executed a contract with the California Association of Health Information Exchanges (CAHIE) to provide Subject Matter Expert Advisor services to assist in developing and implementing the PULSE+EMS initiative.  This agreement is significant as it continues our priority to connect EMS into the broader healthcare system through health information exchange.

“We are very pleased to be awarded the work and to support PULSE +EMS. The contract was signed this morning and work began today,” said Dr. Robert Cothren, Executive Director of CAHIE. “This is a big move forward, both for PULSE +EMS and for CAHIE.”

The PULSE +EMS project represents an effort that brings together local providers, agencies, systems and capabilities in a way they have never been used before to create an effective platform for use in responding to a disaster and improving emergency patient care on a daily basis.

“The PULSE+EMS initiative is broader than just the individual projects that will result from the ONC grant. Our intent is to bring EMS into existing HIE systems statewide over time so it’s important that everyone involved be part of the discussion throughout the process,” said Dan Smiley, EMSA’s Chief Deputy Director and Project Director for PULSE+EMS. “It is essential that we bring in all of the HIEs we can and build upon their previous work. By engaging the Association we are gaining a wealth of expertise.”

CAHIE’s role will include providing services to support local entities that will be selected to implement the demonstration projects in their communities and/or within their health information exchange organization. Their tasks fall into four primary areas:

  1. Support for the development of PULSE interconnectivity, including both the interoperability broker services and web-based portal functionality.
  2. Support for the integration of DHV with PULSE to enable authentication and authorization of disaster healthcare volunteers to use PULSE during a disaster.
  3. Support for a table-top drill of the use of PULSE and integrated DHV during a mock disaster. This portion of the project demonstrates and evaluates the capabilities of PULSE and integrated DHV, and culminates in a Drill Report.
  4. Provide subject matter expert project advice to EMS Authority as needed for PULSE +EMS. This activity supports the EMS Authority with additional, specialized expertise in the secure sharing of health information to help ensure success of the project.

CAHIE’s responsibilities will include identifying scope of work for projects that are the subject of competitive procurement. In order to avoid any concerns regarding conflict of interest while maintaining access to the expertise represented among CAHIE members, we have established the following guidelines for interaction:

  • CAHIE must NOT discuss specific contract requirements, scopes of work, or other procurement details with its members or any other organization that contemplates bidding on a procurement.
  • EMSA will be solely responsible for establishing scoring criteria, selecting projects, and selecting sub-grantees. CAHIE will not participate in the selection process.
  • CAHIE is specifically allowed to (and encouraged to) consult with others, including its member organizations, and draw on their experience and expertise. CAHIE and its members are also encouraged to serve on the HIE in EMS Advisory Committee and its subcommittees or working groups.

Immediately following execution of the contract Dr. Cothren and Karen Boruff, PMP, who is Project Manager for CAHIE, began work on developing the scope of work for the +EMS portion of the project and we anticipate the Request for Offer to be released by the end of the month.

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