Huntsville Memorial Joins Healthconnect’s Health Information Exchange

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Regional Network Helps Hospital Coordinate Patient Care

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This is going to improve patient care by enabling HMH to achieve better transitions of care for our patients.

Healthconnect announced today that Huntsville Memorial Hospital(HMH) is the latest addition to the region’s care coordination network in Southeast Texas. Healthconnect will enable physicians practicing at Huntsville Memorial to query their patient’s prior health information in order to have a more complete picture of the patient’s medical history. Results will appear seamlessly within the hospital’s electronic health record system (EHR).

The capability to securely share patient information electronically directly impacts the quality of care someone receives. Shannon Brown, Huntsville Memorial’s CEO explains, “This is going to improve patient care by enabling HMH to achieve better transitions of care for our patients. Even if a patient is referred to Houston for a specialized procedure, being able to quickly see those records when the patient returns will help our care givers provide better follow-up.”

Nick Bonvino, Healthconnect’s CEO, expressed enthusiasm for HMH’s participation, “Healthconnect is pleased to welcome HMH to our growing network of healthcare entities that are committed to collaborating for the benefit of their patients.” Sharing information electronically will positively impact the quality of care and can also enable care to be delivered more efficiently. Participation in the health information exchange is one way the hospital can help patients to avoid costly repeat tests that might not be reimbursable by insurance companies. It also enhances patient safety by reducing the potential for medical errors due to a lack of information about allergies, existing medications and conditions.

In addition to querying the patient’s longitudinal health record, HIE services will allow HMH staff to communicate with their colleagues both within HMH and at other facilities using HIPAA compliant secure email. Healthconnect is certified through the national Direct Trust Bundle, which is a consortium of hospitals and providers around the country who agree to follow a common set of policies and guidelines for health information exchange with the ultimate goal of enhancing inter-organizational care coordination. Ultimately, doctors at HMH will be able to exchange clinical information about their patients with other consulting physicians, whether they are in the area or out of state.

Huntsville Memorial is the far northern anchor for the Southeast Texas regional health information exchange and the first hospital in this part of Texas to join. Presently, 281 hospitals and physician groups have signed-on to Healthconnect, making it the largest HIE in Texas. Healthconnect also connects to HIETexas as its gateway to other parts of Texas and the nation.

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About Greater Houston Healthconnect
Greater Houston Healthconnect is an independent, community-based organization responsible for enabling information exchange among healthcare providers in a 20-county region. It is tasked with mobilizing healthcare information electronically across organizations to enhance the safety, quality, and efficiency of care and improve information access throughout the region. Key stakeholders include healthcare providers, payers, employers and the community as a whole. For more information, visit http://www.ghhconnect.org/.

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Robin Mansur
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