VITL and Southwestern VT Medical Center Collaborate on Data Exchange

Release Date: 
March 17th, 2015

Burlington, VT - Southwestern Vermont Medical Center (SVMC) and VITL recently completed the final phases of a hospital interface project that developed five connections to transmit health data from the hospital to the Vermont Health Information Exchange (VHIE), the statewide health data network operated by VITL.

The five interfaces were built to:

  1. Send immunization data from SVMC to the VHIE. The immunization data is then forwarded on to the Vermont Department of Health Immunization Registry.
  2. Modernize the existing laboratory results interface from SVMC to the VHIE.
  3. Send patient demographics, radiology reports, expanded laboratory results (pathology, microbiology and blood bank), and transcribed reports (information about procedures, admissions, discharges and consults) from SVMC to the VHIE.

Vermont hospital locationsThe success of this project is meaningful for two reasons: the SVMC interfaces complete VITL's goal of connecting all 14 Vermont hospitals to the VHIE. Although SVMC has been contributing laboratory results to the VHIE for over eight years, the four new connections will increase the amount of clinical and demographic data available to providers involved in a patient’s care, better informing health care decisions.

Unique to the final phases of the SVMC interface project was the addition of a move-in process, where engineers, analysts and project managers met face-to-face at the VITL office in Burlington. Harkening back to a time before email and instant messaging dominated team communications, the interface teams met for two in-person sessions that lasted two weeks at a time, and allowed them to completely focus on integration and quality assurance testing of health data flowing from SVMC into the health information exchange.

VITL President and CEO John K. Evans said, “The combination of innovative and old-style approaches to team work across organizations enabled us to take advantage of the faster response time to detect, analyze and resolve any issues that came up. These interfaces were brought online in four weeks, 16 weeks faster than the industry average of 20 weeks, saving each organization a great deal of time and expense.”

The new clinical interfaces allow SVMC data to be shared with any provider in Vermont. “Southwestern Vermont Medical Center has been a part of the VHIE for over eight years, and we have actively used the data network to distribute electronic lab results to primary care practices in the southwestern Vermont health care service area,” said Rich Ogilvie, chief information officer at SVMC. “The additional connections deliver data and reporting abilities that will enhance the provider-patient care relationship in the Bennington service area and across the state.”

Medicity—another member of the interface team and the infrastructure vendor for the VHIE—developed the move-in process with VITL, and their project managers said that by collaborating more closely with the VITL team the communication loop was closed quickly and the work moved forward rapidly.

The Vermont Health Information Exchange, and health information technology have been contributing to improvements in care outcomes for Vermont patients and providers. The strategy of combining face time during this particular project increased efficiencies, strengthened collaborations and delivered positive technology outcomes for VITL, Southwestern Vermont Medical Center and Medicity.

Vermont Information Technology Leaders, Inc. (VITL) is a nonprofit organization that assists Vermont health care providers with adopting and using health information technology, to improve the quality of care delivery, to enhance patient safety and to reduce the cost of care. VITL is legislatively designated to operate the health information exchange (HIE) for Vermont, and is governed by a collaborative group of stakeholders including health plans, hospitals, physicians, other health care providers, state government, employers, and consumers. For more information, please visit