Foothold Update: Interoperability, Health Information Exchange (HIE)

If you’re reading this, you’re probably well aware of the changes currently rocking the health care world. The ARRA legislation (Stimulus Bill) and the Affordable Care Act have combined to generate and incentivize some of the most far-reaching changes and experimentation that our health care world has ever seen. One of the most powerful changes currently underway is the collapsing of the walls between physical health and mental health or behavioral health.

There are many ways that this wall is being chipped at, but the one that has comprised the bulk of our development resources over the past year or so are the new requirements around Interoperability among databases. What is becoming clear is that each health care provider, whether a behavioral care provider or a physical care provider, should have an Electronic Health Record (EHR) that is capable of exchanging data with any other health record. Armed with this cross-disciplinary data, it is thought, providers will be able to offer less expensive and more effective care.

Foothold is already testing exchanges with Regional Health Information Organizations (RHIOs) in New York State. RHIOs are a kind of Health Information Exchange (HIE) that is being leveraged in NY to serve as a hub for data exchange. Presently, we are deploying a data exchange with the Brooklyn RHIO (BHIX) and beginning discussions with the THINC RHIO and through that, the statewide SHIN-NY RHIO. Suffice it to say, these projects are substantial and require a significant investment of resources. While focused in NY at this point, our work is setting the stage for our providers in every state to be able to achieve Interoperability as new federal requirements emerge. From County exchanges in California to HIEs in Ohio and Behavioral Health Homes in New Jersey, Foothold is out front on all the exchanges going up nationally.

Our commitment is to treat this work the way we treat all our work: We leverage the fact that we work with many organizations over long periods of time, and use that amortization to make cutting edge technology, like Behavioral Health Data Interoperability, affordable for everyone. Together, Foothold and our clients can bring a level of sophistication and high technology to an industry too long without it.

About Foothold Technology
Foothold Technology offers web-based software developed specifically for behavioral health and human service providers. More than 600 agencies across the nation count on Foothold’s AWARDS software to manage services including Mental Health, Alcohol & Substance Abuse, Developmental Disabilities, Homeless & Housing, Employment & Training, Youth & Family, and more. With origins and roots in social services, AWARDS is a complete Electronic Health Record that also supports administrative activities, including facilities maintenance, human resources, scheduling and alerts, audit reports, and automated billing. AWARDS is certified for Meaningful Use. For more information, visit