Delaware Health Information Network (DHIN) – Networking Health, Prioritizing Lives!

Delaware Health Information Network - Networking Best Health Dr. Jan Lee

We all know some of the most popular and leading entrepreneurs that have established their company, its services, and themselves as nothing but the best. But in this process, we often forget or miss those unsung heroes that offer equally innovative services but not just for profit.

Dr. Jan Lee is the CEO of Delaware Health Information Network (DHIN). 

Delaware Health Information Network was founded in 2007, but the vision was born in the late 1990s. A group of legislators, hospitals, and the medical society of Delaware were independently working on solutions that would aggregate Health data and make it more readily available to individuals who need it for both policy purposes and health care delivery purposes.

Jan is leading the company ahead into the future while making sure that the HealthCare industry is moving along. Her vision, goals, and charisma not only emanate a true entrepreneur but also a true leader.

She is much more than an entrepreneur, she is an inspiration, a change, and a wave in today’s HealthCare industry.

Pioneering ahead, leading the HealthCare industry’s future – DHIN

Delaware Health Information Network (DHIN) was founded in 2007 and became the first live, statewide health information network in the nation. Delaware Health Information Network currently serves:

– 100% of Delaware’s acute care hospitals

– 100% of Delaware’s long term care and skilled nursing facilities

– Approaching 100% of medical providers who have enrolled and are participating in DHIN

More than 14,000,000 clinical results and reports are posted on DHIN each year – and the total patient records in the system now exceed 2,100,000, featuring patient records from all 50 states.

In the six years that DHIN has been active, the system has proven its reliability and worth to hospitals, medical professionals, and patients throughout Delaware. DHIN securely delivers fast and accurate patient information from hospitals, laboratories, and radiology facilities directly to doctors’ offices.

Delaware Health Information Network makes it possible to deliver higher quality medical care more quickly, and at a lower cost, using a federated data model for medical records, aggregating those records, and eliminating the manual transmission of medical data. Frequent audits confirm that the system is secure and that data is used properly.

The initial journey of Delaware Health Information Network (DHIN)

As they are a health information network, they’re not trying to build an electronic medical record, but create a repository of health data that can be accessed. They achieve this by physicians who have their electronic medical record but may not have all of the information about the patient(s) in their record.

So, they can rely on Delaware Health Information Network for that missing information, and get more than they had in their records. Some of the initial challenges were complex, as they’re first in the nation to do this on a statewide basis. And no one had written the rule book yet, and they had to figure and build the operating procedures, along with everything else, as they went ahead. 

Other challenges were developing trust with the hospitals, labs, etc. As the data they store is highly sensitive and can be used maliciously. So, hospitals and labs wanted some very clear rules about what’s going to be maintained, data security, who gets access, compliance with all of the regulatory requirements around privacy and security, and more.

The major concern was trusting DHIN with data security. So, developing foolproof systems, earning trust was one of the major hurdles DHIN’s team conquered. Engaging both the private sector and the state agencies around a shared vision for what this was going to be!

Another huge, early challenge was how it was going to be funded and sustained. But it’s the innovation and the mission of DHIN that kept the company and its team always on the front foot with their best foot forward, accomplishing all the challenges and rising to the opportunity, and gaining recognition and trust in the HealthCare industry.

Factors that pushed DHIN to grow, and what establishes their success?

Right from the beginning, they have always been focused on what the market is asking for. Their first services were developed based on market research.

They asked the potential users of the service. What would you value? What would you value and use? And the feedback was head and shoulders over every other option(s), electronic results delivery was the thing that most people said would be valuable. So, they started with it first!

As they progressed, always being responsive to what their market is telling them, what they value, need, and use. They went towards delivering value to their customers, and that’s their secret to becoming successful. 

Delaware Health Information Network’s services and how are they a class-apart from the competition in the market?

Delaware Health Information Network is a rapidly growing non-profit organization at the forefront of health information exchange (HIE). Delaware Health Information Network is the nation’s first statewide HIE established in 1997 to facilitate the electronic movement of health-related data among health care entities to improve the quality and efficiency of health care services for patients in Delaware. Reporting to the Delaware Health Information Network Board of Directors, the CEO provides strategic leadership and day-to-day management of the organization’s programs, operations, and policy development.

They started with no competitors, nobody else was doing this, other entities have begun doing some of what they do, but there’s nobody else in their market that does it all. So, part of their edge goes to how they are deeply embedded in the Information ecosystem of the state. This drives other customers to them! 

A part of their strategy has been how to make the whole thing stick. Those who are participating in their services are not only participating themselves, but generating demand for their customers, or their customers generate demand for them to participate. Part of it is relationship building. 

One of the advantages of being in a small state like Delaware is that people know each other and DHIN and its team’s ability to have face-to-face meetings on short notice with any of their critical stakeholders is very important. 

What distinguishes them from some of the big box brands that are nationwide or even global, who just do not have the same personal relationships with customers as they do!

Part of what sets them apart and makes them successful is they don’t favor one over another. All of the services that they offer are on equal terms to all participants. Nobody gets special pricing, nobody gets special, anything. And they work very hard to maintain that reputation.

Their clients often call them the Switzerland of health information exchange. They know the market intimately because they live here and have personal relationships with key stakeholders and maintain a position of neutrality in the marketplace.

These are some of the factors that make them successful and set them apart from the competition in the market. Their trust, recognition, and respect in the market have gained them a solid footing, strongly holding their leading position as the health information network!

How does DHIN go a step ahead with its services?

They’re looking for what the market is asking for? They regularly meet with their clients and one of the questions is what business problem can DHIN help you solve? What are you looking for?

So, talking to customers and keeping a laser focus on the market. While making sure they are constantly evolving their services, support, and standards, keeping in view the needs of the market and their customers is what DHIN’s team is all about.

There are new regulations that come out at the federal level. There are new developments across the industry, and DHIN’s expert personnel are on a constant lookout for those things and projecting out where the future is headed!

So, once they devise projections, they strategize and make sure they are ready even before the news, trend, or technology hits the market. These are how they evolve their services and stay relevant in a constantly changing environment.

All these factors add to the trust and reliability Delaware Health Information Network has accumulated and earn them a respected position in the market, strongly holding their dominant position.

New additions to their services

In addition to the clinical data that they receive directly from hospitals and other healthcare providers, they are now receiving claims data from the health insurers. And this enables them to offer analytics service lines. So when they first got started, their primary services were focused on the direct delivery of healthcare.

They are now in a position to aggregate data across many sources and many data types, clinical claims laboratory, and do an interesting analysis of the data to evaluate trends, correlations, outcomes from different types of treatment.

This is a new line of service for them, it’s in its early stages, and still growing. They believe this is a service line that has a really important future for their company and companies serving in the HealthCare industry. 

DHIN’s phenomenal Leadership!

Delaware Health Information Network’s innovative approach, vision, mission, and services not only showcase its team’s prowess but also speaks a great deal about the company’s leadership. The leadership at Delaware Health Information Network is not only an exemplary leader but also a holistic visionary, embedding core values and ethics into the company and its services, along with taking the company ahead, earning it immense reputation and recognition across industries.

Dr. Jan Lee is the CEO of DHIN.

Jan worked in clinical practice for over 20 years. She spent 23 years on active duty in the United States Air Force, with varying positions of increasing responsibility. Jan rose through the ranks in the Air Force, and her final assignment before retiring was as the Chief Information Officer (CIO) of the Air Force Medical Service.

After her retirement, she was faced with a decision to either go back into full-time clinical practice or stay in the technology side of things. She chose technology and held the promise of addressing many of the things she found very frustrating as a practicing physician. 

“It’s been a wonderful job. I love what I’m doing. I think our work is important. It’s impactful, it resonates with my value system and I couldn’t be happier”, Jan adds

Jan chose that she was going to let her career move in a different direction and spent five years working for next-gen healthcare. After spending her time in the technology side of things, Jan got the opportunity at Delaware Health Information Network. There was no looking back for her and has been with DHIN for 11 years, taking the reins and leading the company ahead.

Jan’s employee relations, and the team, work-culture of DHIN?

Jan pays a lot of attention to how many hours they are working and making sure that they’re not overburdening people.

“I meet with every employee of the organization. I always ask, What are they doing? What could they do better? Are there things that are stressful about your job? Is there anything you need to be more productive and happier at work?

So, my people know that I genuinely care about them. I genuinely care about their welfare and I genuinely want to help them be successful and meet their own career goals as we ask them to help us as an organization, meet our business goals”, Jan adds.

DHIN has always had a very liberal policy, especially when it comes to working from home. As even before the pandemic, almost everybody has been working remotely. They’re a technology company and have got the technology and tools that enable them to be productive and connected from home. And it has proved to be a real advantage for the team. 

This type of work environment and company culture goes a long way in building trust and a feeling of oneness towards the organization and its goals, core values, and mission. Also, the mutual respect between management and employees adds the x-factor to the work environment, motivating the team to work harder and innovate services that revolutionize the HealthCare industry.

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