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SCHIO at a Glance
The Santa Cruz health information exchange was the first in California (1996), one of twelve original health information exchanges in the United States, and one of the three that survive today. Initially formed as a local initiative by Dominican Hospital and the Physicians Medical Group, the Santa Cruz exchange grew to include 2,000 users from hospitals, practices, federally qualified health centers, and County agencies. In 2017, the IPA spun out the exchange, which became an independent 501(c)(3) public benefit company funded by initial capital and ongoing access fees and grants. Today, the Santa Cruz Health Information Organization (SCHIO) provides an array of services beyond ‘Classic HIE’ and serves approximately 400,000 patient lives in Santa Cruz County and from surrounding areas. SCHIO connects to the national networks, eHealth Exchange and Carequality, and connects to California’s prescription drug reporting system, immunization registry, and disease reporting registry, as well as regional university laboratories and hospitals.
SCHIO operates as a California corporation, governed by a Board of Directors drawn from the local community: the two hospitals, County public health, federally qualified health centers, both Dignity Health and Sutter Health medical foundations, local practices, and the regional health improvement organization. The board is served by an audit committee, a technical advisory committee, and a steering committee for the whole person care initiative. This governance – both local in nature and wider in scope through the influence of Dignity Health and Kaiser Permanente – focuses SCHIO on specific actions to improve community health through close coordination among the entities.
Together We Care:
SCHIO partnered with the Santa Cruz County Health Services Agency, Salud Para La Gente and Santa Cruz Community Health Centers in Together We Care as stakeholders to merge medical care with social assistance, addressing the whole person needs. Today’s Together We Care program relies on technical platforms maintained and extended by SCHIO and used by both community based organizations, such as food banks and support programs, and care delivery organizations, such as providers and hospitals, to serve the needs of people within the county. This work builds on the strong foundation of SCHIO as a community partner for more than 25 years and a technical leader able to integrate and harness social and clinical data.