Interoperability Center

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What is the Interoperability Center?

Health Information Exchanges (HIEs) such as Regional Health Information Organizations (RHIOs) or other state-wide systems, allow for the sharing of client data from one provider with any other providers that are part of the same network.  That data can then be accessed via the HIE (or RHIO) either through the receipt of a similar file sent from the HIE/RHIO or through a portal if they offer one.  AWARDS makes available to our customers an optional set of functionality that enables them to work directly with the HIEs or RHIOs that they belong to, automatically transmitting client data upon the completion of common data entry tasks such as intake/admission, merge, transfer, discharge, demographics information update, and consent form completion.

While the bulk of the data transmission work to the HIE/RHIO happens behind-the-scenes and without user intervention during the course of line staff's daily workflow, AWARDS also provides access to an Interoperability Center - a central point from which administrative users can complete the same transmission functions manually.  Within the Interoperability Center, located in the System Setup module, users also have access to review and oversight tools not available elsewhere.

IMPORTANT! Various individuals within an agency may work with Interoperability functionality.  For documentation purposes we've grouped these individuals into two categories - "Administrators" who have access to the full Interoperability Center in the System Setup module, and "Line Staff" who do not have access to the Interoperability Center and who will instead be limited to interfacing with a single Interoperability component - RHIO-related consents information - integrated into the daily workflow of the Intake/Admission and Profile modules.

This portion of Online Help is intended for use by Administrators, as a guide to all aspects of Interoperability Center functionality.  If you are Line Staff and do not have access to the Interoperability Center itself, please refer instead to our Interoperability Center - RHIO Consents - Instruction Sheet.  It will guide you through the process of working with RHIO consents information elsewhere in AWARDS.

Required Permissions

The Interoperability Center is optional functionality that must be turned on and configured for your agency by Foothold Technology staff. If you are interested in using this functionality and it has not yet been set up for you, please review our Interoperability Center - Information and Pricing Sheet.

Permissions required to use the Interoperability Center in the capacity of an Administrator (once it has been turned on and configured) are as follows:

Program Chart Access

In addition, unless you are in the "Executive Officer" or "System Administrator" user groups, you must have ONE of the following permissions:

Display Executive Administration Buttons
Permissions Data Entry
Permissions Data Entry for All Staff and Layers

  NOTE: Permissions are assigned using the Permissions Maintenance feature.  If you do not have access to that feature and need a permission listed here, please contact your supervisor or your local Help Desk for assistance.

Access to the Interoperability Center is not required in order to work with RHIO consents information.  If you will also be accessing consents information from outside of the Interoperability Center as line staff do, be sure to review the permission requirements detailed in our Interoperability Center - RHIO Consents - Instruction Sheet.

Using Interoperability Functionality

Detailed information on using all components of the Interoperability Center can be found in the Interoperability Center - Administrator's Guide - Instruction Sheet.  Included in this document is information on each of the three main components of Interoperability functionality and the corresponding features on the Interoperability Settings page used to complete related tasks:

  RHIO Consents - After your program(s) have been configured by Foothold Technology to communicate with relevant RHIO(s), client data is automatically transmitted to the RHIOs via special messages or as part of a CCD (Continuity of Care Document) - detailed below.  Whether or not a given client's data can be accessed by other facilities associated with the RHIOs is based on consent.  Consent forms can be completed as part of the Intake/Admission process for new clients, and can also be accessed and maintained for existing clients from within the face sheet or using the related Interoperability Center component, noted here.  Regardless of the location from which consent information is recorded, it is the consent value indicated on the form and transmitted to the RHIO that controls whether client data will be shared.

  View / File Consent Form - Used to view and enter consent forms for existing clients.

  TIP: AWARDS accepts consents for minors from parents or guardians and zeroes them out at the client's18th birthday.  After the client's 18th birthday a consent from the (now) adult client can be collected. This feature is on by default for all health information exchanges (HIE), but your HIE may not accept certain consents or ask Foothold Technology to turn the feature off based on their specific policies.

  CCD Messages - Clinical client data transmitted to the RHIOs from AWARDS is sent via Continuity of Care Document (CCD) messages.  These messages are automatically generated when various pieces of a client's records are updated by program staff - medications, vital signs, allergies, axis III diagnoses, diagnostic tests, and discharge data.  The Interoperability Center allows administrators to manually transmit, view, or download these documents if necessary, as well as to cross-check the data being communicated between AWARDS and the RHIO, using the following components:

  Generate CCD - Used to generate a CCD for a client for viewing and/or downloading purposes.  That CCD is the same document automatically created upon update of relevant portions of a client's records, and is a snapshot of the clinical data as it exists in AWARDS at the time of generation.  This Interoperability component does not transmit the CCD, only generates it.

  TIP: This Interoperability component can be useful in the event that it is necessary to provide a patient with an offline copy of this/her patient record.

  Transmit CCD - Used to manually transmit a CCD message to the RHIO configured for a selected client.  This is a manual version of what takes place automatically when updates are made to relevant portions of a client's records.

  View / Download CCD - Used to view or download the latest CCD transmitted to the RHIO for a selected client.  Conversely, it can also be used to retrieve and view/download the latest CCD from the RHIO for that client, if applicable.  The CCD retrieval process is completed using the following tool:

  Retrieve CCD - Used to view a summary document from the RHIO for a selected client.  That CCD will contain client information shared with the RHIO from your agency and, depending on the consent level transmitted to the RHIO for the client, may also include information contributed by other facilities.

  Transmitted Messages - Used to generate a report providing a full history of communication for a selected client or all clients.  This report can be useful when cross-checking data that has been transmitted from AWARDS to the RHIO portal.

  Legacy Client Record Keeping - When a program at your agency is set up to connect to a RHIO and use the Interoperability Center, batch registration messages are transmitted for all existing clients on the active roster of that program.  Those messages register the clients in the RHIO with an encounter record for your program.  Moving forward, new clients are registered via a registration message as part of the admission process.  In the event that you would also like to transmit data to the RHIOs on clients who are no longer active in the program (those that are in the roster archives), you can do so manually using the legacy record keeping components:

  NOTE: These Interoperability Center components are only relevant when working with legacy clients for the purposes of getting started, and are not features that will be used on an ongoing basis.

  Register Client - Used to register a legacy (roster archive) client with the RHIO if necessary.  This is the manual version of the automated transmission that takes place during the admission process.

  Discharge Client - Used to discharge a legacy (roster archive) client from the RHIO if that client has been separately registered using the Register Client component.  This is the manual version of the automated transmission that takes place during the discharge process.

Please visit the Interoperability Center - Administrator's Guide - Instruction Sheet for more information.

Other Functionality Features

Notes as Encounters on CCDA - Learn how to automatically generate CCDA encounter messages from progress notes.

Related Documents

HIE / RHIO Workflow and AWARDS - Information Sheet

HIE Technical Details - Information Sheet

Interoperability Center - Administrator's Guide - Instruction Sheet

Interoperability Center - RHIO Consents - Instruction Sheet

Training Films & Demonstrations

Direct Messaging (4 min) - Learn how to use direct messaging in AWARDS.

FootholdConnect Event Recordings

  NOTE: Recordings marked with a red asterisk (*) were made prior to deployment of significant AWARDS enhancements and do not reflect those changes; however, the overall content is still relevant and useful.

Certified Edition / Interoperability (59 min) * - August 2018

Join us to learn about the AWARDS Certified Edition and Interoperability features.  This event digs deep into the various options and features that comprise AWARDS Certified Edition.  We also review the Interoperability Center in AWARDS, as well as highlight our current RHIO and HIE connections and how they work.  If you have data sharing needs, this recording is for you!

Service Agreements

Interoperability Center - Information & Service Agreement

Useful Links to External Documents and Websites

Please note that these are external resources, not maintained by Foothold Technology.

MedAllies - Direct Onboarding Guide for AWARDS

MedAllies - How to Select a Trusted Agent