Rush Electronic Health Record Now Can Connect With Higi Stations

App developed in partnership with Rush will help improve management of chronic conditions, address health disparities.

March 16, 2018
Higi machine

Patients who use Higi health screening stations soon will be able to have data from their screenings entered into Rush University Medical Center’s electronic health record and shared with their health care providers.

Based in Chicago, Higi operates a national network of more than 11,000 self-screening stations for population health enablement. Working in collaboration with Higi, information technology professionals at Rush developed an app that allows data from Higi screenings to be shared with health providers who maintain their electronic health record — or EHR — in Epic, the most widely used system.  

“Higi is proud to partner with Rush on this important integration, which enables Rush and other organizations who use the Epic EHR to connect with our more than 11,000 publicly accessible Higi Stations to extend their reach into communities, enable more convenient measurement of health data, gain insight into social determinants of health, and inform patient treatment plans,” said Jeff Bennett, CEO of Higi. 

Higi readings in homeless shelter inspired app’s development

As part of this initiative, Rush is placing additional Higi stations into community centers, high schools and other locations to improve access and to address social needs that affect overall health and well-being. Rush’s first Higi station deployment was to Franciscan House of Mary and Joseph, a not-for-profit homeless shelter near Rush on Chicago’s West Side where Rush clinicians and students provide free medical services.

At Franciscan House, the Rush team detected a prevalence of severe hypertension in residents that was multiple times higher than for people in the greater Chicago area. This finding inspired Rush’s information technology team to create an interoperable integration with Rush’s Epic EHR to ensure that data from Higi is accessible in real time for Rush clinicians or other community-based providers.

Beyond measurement of important biometric health indicators, Higi also enables collection of social determinants of health information at the station. Social determinants such as housing instability, food insecurity, and difficulty accessing transportation have a significant impact on health outcomes, and this data can be used to connect individuals with appropriate community-based resources.

“At Rush, we are focused on improving the health of our surrounding communities,” said Dr. Shafiq Rab, Rush’s senior vice president and chief information officer. “A leading cause of morbidity and mortality in Chicago’s West Wide is unmanaged hypertension and heart disease.

“By connecting Higi health stations with Epic workflows, we are trying to improve access, regularly measure biometrics, and work with our community partners to better understand and address social determinants of health.”

Patients will be able to share data from Higi stations across Chicago

In the initial launch of the Higi-Epic EHR integration, planned to begin during the third quarter of 2018, Rush patients who receive specialized care for hypertension will be able to measure their biometrics at 211 stores across the Chicago area, including most Jewel-Osco, Meijer and Sam's Club locations and select CVS pharmacies. With the patients’ consent, data from Higi will be shared immediately and securely with trusted Rush care providers in Epic’s hypertension registries to decrease the need for blood pressure check visits to Rush clinics.

Based on the results of the launch, this program will be extended to 60,000 additional Rush patients with chronic conditions such as hypertension, pre-diabetes, and diabetes.

"The partnership with Higi helps us toward achieving our population health goals for hypertension management,” said Dr. Omar Lateef, Rush’s chief medical officer. “Through their extensive network of health stations, Higi will provide an accessible and affordable way for our patients to regularly measure and share their blood pressure measurements."

The Higi team is working with the Rush IT team to make the Higi-Epic EHR integration application available on the Epic App Orchard marketplace for adoption by other health systems and physician groups that use Epic EHR solutions.

About Higi

Higi is a consumer health engagement company making it easier for all people to measure, track and act on their health data through a free nationwide network of over 10,000 FDA-cleared self-screening Smart Health Stations located in pharmacy retailers and other community points of trust.  Enhanced by over 80 different third-party integrations (i.e. apps, devices, monitors, EHRs and more), Higi’s Smart Health Stations connect across the existing healthcare ecosystem, bridging station activity with digital tools to interact with consumers on the go and extend engagement, making it easier for consumers to remain active in their health.  Healthcare stakeholders use Higi as a new access point to better reach, connect with and activate targeted populations; collect biometric and other health determinant data to stratify and prioritize; motivate consumers to take specific actions at a point of care or within the expanding care ecosystem activated by Higi connectivity.  To date, more than 58 million people have used a Higi station to conduct over 335 million biometric tests.  For more information, visit us at www.higi.com.

About Rush

Rush University System for Health (Rush) is an academic health system whose mission is to improve the health of the individuals and diverse communities it serves through the integration of outstanding patient care, education, research and community partnerships. Rush comprises Rush University Medical Center, Rush University, Rush Copley Medical Center and Rush Oak Park Hospital, as well as numerous outpatient care facilities. Rush University, with more than 2,500 students, is a health sciences university that comprises Rush Medical College, the College of Nursing, the College of Health Sciences and the Graduate College.