The goal of the Mass HIway is to support the electronic exchange of patient information across the healthcare community to achieve the best possible care coordination for Massachusetts residents. This includes enabling care providers in improving their processes of sharing, reconciling, and analyzing Protected Health Information (PHI) to facilitate better management of the quality and cost of care.
For this purpose, the Mass HIway offers a range of services and resources to facilitate the use of Health Information Exchange (HIE) by care providers across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The HIE efforts cover Direct Messaging, Query HIE, Event Notification Services (ENS), Public Health Reporting, and methods to enhance the interoperability of healthcare systems and workflows by means of HIE utilization.
The HIway is operated by the Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS), and its services are regulated through the Mass HIway Regulations. The HIway is overseen by a Health Information Technology (HIT) Council, and informed by consumer, provider, legal and policy, and technology advisory groups to promote a transparent multi-stakeholder engagement model. Click here for meeting dates, presentations, and notes of the HIT Council.
The key services and resources provided by the Mass HIway include:
- Continued development of the Mass HIway infrastructures
- Provider organization education and outreach
- EHR/Practice Management Vendor integration services
- Onboarding and Enrollment
- Secure Direct Messaging
- Account Management and Consulting Services
- HIway Adoption and Utilization Support
- A Statewide ENS Framework
- Onboarding and Enrollment
- Toolkits to facilitate the utilization of HIE and Query HIE
Mass HIway Direct Messaging
The Mass HIway offers a secure Health Information Exchange (HIE) for all healthcare systems in Massachusetts, regardless of affiliation, location, or differences in technology. The HIway's Direct Messaging mechanism enables healthcare providers to exchange health information for the patients they serve. It is a cost-effective tool to improve care coordination, care quality, patient satisfaction, and public health reporting.
The Mass HIway's Direct Messaging solution offers doctors’ offices, hospitals, laboratories, pharmacies, skilled nursing facilities, and other healthcare organizations a cost-effective way to securely and seamlessly exchange vital health data electronically to better serve their shared patients. To learn more about HIway Direct Messaging, click here. To enroll, click here.
HIway Connection Requirement
Massachusetts care providers are subject to the Mass HIway Regulations, including the HIway Connection Requirement. Currently, Acute Care Hospitals, Community Health Centers, and Medium/Large Medical Ambulatory Practices are subject to the HIway Connection Requirement, and must submit annual documentation attesting to their efforts to implement HIE use cases. To learn more about the HIway Regulations and Connection Requirement, click here.
Statewide ENS Framework
An Event Notification Service (ENS) is a specialized form of HIE used to alert care providers about their patients’ Admissions, Discharges, and Transfers (ADT) to hospitals, Emergency Departments, and post-acute care facilities. The Mass HIway created and administers the Statewide ENS Framework, which is an ENS solution that serves all Massachusetts care providers.
Starting on April 1, 2021, Acute Care Hospitals must submit information regarding their participation in the Statewide ENS Framework. All other care providers are encouraged to participate in the framework as well to receive the alert notifications. To learn more about the Statewide ENS Framework, click here.
The Mass HIway offers HIway Adoption and Utilization Support (HAUS) Services to assist organizations in the effective deployment of HIE to enhance care coordination. If you enroll in the free-of-charge HAUS Services, a HIway Account Manager will be assigned to your organization as a project resource to enable your organization to incorporate HIE into your care coordination process.
HAUS Services are available to all care providers who seek to implement a new HIE solution, or enhance the use of their existing solution. Utilization of Mass HIway Direct Messaging is not required to participate. The Account Manager will support your organization in the development and implementation of HIE-supported use cases, and will assist you in project management. To learn more about the available HAUS Services, click here. To enroll, click here.
History of the Mass HIway
In October 2012, Massachusetts first launched the statewide electronic Health Information Exchange, The Massachusetts Health Information Highway (The Mass HIway). The Mass HIway provided Massachusetts care providers with a cost-effective Direct Messaging alternative.
In 2018, the Mass HIway released HIway 2.0, which is based on Orion Health's Communicate platform. HIway 2.0 aligns the HIway's Direct Messaging capabilities with modern interoperability standards, simplifies the connection process, and improves the user experience. Review the new features in the graphic shown below.
To enable providers to take advantage of the improved HIE capabilities, all HIway 1.0 users have been migrated to HIway 2.0.
To get started with enrolling and onboarding onto Mass HIway 2.0, click here.
Mass HIway Overview Video
Review the animated video below to learn more about the Mass HIway.