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Meet SOPHIE, the Health Information Organization for Rural Texas

If ever there was an example illustrating the challenges of providing equal access to healthcare information for all Texans, the case of SOPHIE would be near the top of the list.


SOPHIE has a different approach to helping link Texas healthcare.

Unlike many of the metropolitan Health Information Organizations across Texas, SOPHIE is focused on serving the rural regions of Texas. At present SOPHIE has the largest presence in the Texas Panhandle and the Southeast Gulf Coast area of Texas.

Texas Counties Served by SOPHIE

Armstrong, Bailey, Brazoria, Briscoe, Calhoun, Carson, Castro, Chambers, Childress, Cochran, Collingsworth, Colorado, Crosby, Dallam, Deaf Smith, Dewitt, Dickens, Donley, Floyd, Garza, Goliad, Gray, Hale, Hall, Hansford, Hartley, Hemphill, Hockley, Hutchinson, Jackson, King, Lamb, Lavaca, Lipscomb, Lubbock, Lynn, Matagorda, Moore, Motley, Ochiltree, Oldham, Parmer, Potter, Randall, Robert, Sherman, Swisher, Terry, Victoria, Wharton, Wheeler, and Yoakum.

Unlike their big city counterparts, most of the smaller hospitals and healthcare providers in rural Texas lack both the funding and the IT staff needed to connect to the larger metropolitan area health care information organizations.

As a result, the team at SOPHIE has been both creative and flexible in its approach to working with these smaller Texas hospitals, doctors offices and clinics. For example, SOPHIE is working on a system that can accept data from rural healthcare institutions at much lower cost by importing spreadsheets rather than implementing direct interfaces which might require tens of thousands of dollars in specialist programming work.

This goal of this effort is to serve as a stopgap measure to give rural healthcare providers the benefits of connecting to a health information organization at a lower entry cost. SOPHIE’s immediate goal is to connect about 25% of the regions hospitals, healthcare institutions and doctor offices and about 28% of the area doctors.

The effort has not gone unnoticed. In 2014 SOPHIE’s parent organization SETHS was awarded the prestigious Aggie 100, honoring the fastest-growing companies in the world, owned or operated by Texas A&M University former students. SETHS was ranked 79 with a compound annual growth rate of 36 percent from 2011 through 2013.


To learn more, visit the SOPHIE Website.

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