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Sometimes, as the saying goes, dark storm clouds come with silver linings. Just ask Curt Sellke, vice president of analytics at the Indiana Health Information Exchange (IHIE).

     As Sellke told me this morning, his dark cloud came in the shape of an accident that landed him in an emergency room. He discovered that the doctor treating him already had access to a medical abstract that provided a complete picture of his healthcare history. Being a data guy (at the time, he was running a customized analytics solution provider), he was most impressed with the information the doctor had on hand. He was so impressed, actually, that he decided he’d like to work with the company responsible for providing the data service.

     Long story short, Sellke needed to shut down his 12-year-old business as he recovered from his accident. But once he was mobile, he put the IHIE, the nation’s largest health information exchange organization, in his sights. It delivered the clinical information that helped that ER doctor as he treated Sellke. “IHIE didn’t necessarily have an open position, but I was tenacious enough in my inquiries, and I was fortunate that this was at a time when things were getting hot and heavy in healthcare.”

     Now, in his analytics leadership role, he is moving the IHIE into a new era where forward-looking predictive analytics helps improve healthcare throughout Indiana and beyond. “I love this mission…. It’s one of those silver linings in what I thought was a dark storm cloud.”

     Last week, the IHIE announced a strategic initiative to apply predictive analytics toward reducing hospital readmissions at hospitals and accountable care organizations (ACOs) throughout the state. More than 90 of Indiana’s 120 hospitals connect to the IHIE, which has partnered with Predixion Software to use its predictive analytics platform.

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