The AzHeC Mission
To facilitate the design and implementation of integrated statewide health information technology (HIT) and health information exchange (HIE) that supports the information needs of all health care stakeholders to reduce health care costs, improve patient safety and improve the quality and efficiency of health care and public health in Arizona.
Arizona Health-e Connection (AzHeC) grew out of an August 2005 executive order by former Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano and the subsequent work of hundreds of Arizona individuals and organizations to develop a statewide health IT strategic plan or roadmap.
In 2006, Arizona published an HIT/HIE roadmap, the Arizona Health-e Connection Roadmap, which recommended that there be a statewide non-profit organization to advance HIT/HIE throughout the state. In 2007, that public-private organization was founded and it took the name of the first roadmap, Arizona Health-e Connection. In 2010, two regional health information organizations came together to form one statewide health information organization, Health Information Network of Arizona (HINAz). Also in 2010, AzHeC was awarded a $10.8 million grant – later increased to $11.9 million due to an expansion in scope – to develop the Arizona Regional Extension Center (REC) and assist providers in adopting electronic health records and achieving Meaningful Use.
Since its creation, the REC has assisted more than 3,000 Arizona providers, and overall EHR adoption in Arizona is approximately 80 percent as of 2013, up from 45 percent four years earlier. This has been driven in large part by Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs that have brought several hundred million dollars into the state. HINAz has grown to include over 35 health care organizations, including hospitals and hospital systems, health plans, major reference labs, community health centers and county correctional institutions. Hospital participants range from the state’s largest facilities to some of the smallest critical access hospitals. Health plan participants represent most of the covered lives in the state.
The following documents provide more information about AzHeC and its history:
AzHeC 2015 Annual Report (2015)
AzHeC 2013 Annual Report (2014)
AzHeC 2011 Annual Report (2012)
AzHeC 2009 Annual Report (2010)
Arizona’s Health IT Roadmap 2.0 (2014)
Health-e Connection Roadmap (2006)
Executive Order (2005-25)