HMS’ HIPAA Control Unit (the ‘HCU’)


The patent-pending HIPAA Control Unit (HCU) is the basic unit upon which the exchange of information is built. The HCU resides inside the EHR firewall becoming part of the LAN (local area network). A secure, Virtual Private Network (VPN) tunnels through the Internet and firewall, encapsulates data and encrypts it, protecting communication between the EHR and the HCU.

The connection between entities is accomplished by the installation of HMS’ HCUs in each of the participating entities as depicted in the schematic below.  This simple yet elegant technology is paired with HMS’ ‘Solutions for Quality Improvement (SQI) platform.

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SQI: A Paradigm-Shifting Platform

Health Metrics Systems (HMS) offers a cloud-based, HIPAA-compliant platform, Solutions for Quality Improvement (SQI), which allows health providers and payers to share information.  It is our premise that sharing of information is most often done within a ‘health trading’ area.

SQI’s ground-breaking, vendor-agnostic technology provides interoperability between patient information silos, making health information exchange seamlessly possible between multi-level health settings and inside large multispecialty practices. This information provides a 360-degree view of the patient using claims data, clinical data and non-health information, which is particularly important for complex, high-risk populations, including those on Medicaid and Medicaid-Medicare.

SQI was designed, developed and implemented to manage patient data among numerous patient data silos for 800+ physicians at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation, one of the nation’s premier group medical practices. SQI was then fully implemented and refined in both commercial and safety net practices over the past six years in the Kansas City market.

The SQI platform works with any Electronic Health Record (EHR) as its forward-thinking technology layers over and between existing IT infrastructure. SQI requires a bare minimum of IT staff time to implement and is easily affordable for all health care environments, including small independent practices.

SQI’s tools are purposed for a very clear goal: to provide all the information necessary to manage the continuous improvement of quality, efficiency and patient satisfaction by providers and payers in the shift to a performance-based system of reimbursement. This paradigm shift is forcing health providers to coordinate care across a variety of health providers, supportive services and payers in a geographical area where all necessary information about patients or groups of patients is available, shareable and in a form where analytics and reporting can be easily achieved.

The SQI platform is cost effective, user-friendly and adaptable for all health care environments, including small independent practices.

Customer Service

Once contracted with a client, HMS provides implementation services that include mapping the required data flows between organizations and setting up the secured HIPAA-compliant, virtual-cloud-based servers. HMS also provides virtual or customer-facing training and support in the use of its SQI platform based on the particular ‘use cases’ that are under contract.

HMS’ pricing model and ability to layer on top of existing HIT investments make our platform financially accessible to all provider, payer and community-based health entities that have the need to extract and share data to manage in the pay-for-performance environment.