Connecticut Pilot Initiative a Success in Exchanging Data to Improve Health Care Quality, Safety and Efficiency

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eHealthConnecticut, Inc., today announced that Community Health Center, Inc., a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) headquartered in Middletown, has joined a select line-up of health care providers participating in the Connecticut Department of Social Services (DSS) Health Information Exchange (HIE) Pilot Project.

eHealthConnecticut, Inc., today announced that Community Health Center, Inc., a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) headquartered in Middletown, has joined a select line-up of health care providers participating in the Connecticut Department of Social Services (DSS) Health Information Exchange (HIE) Pilot Project. The other facilities include Hartford Hospital and St. Francis Hospital, both in Hartford; Lawrence and Memorial Hospital in New London; and Staywell Health Center in Waterbury.

The pilot program, using an information technology system provided by Misys Open Source Solutions (MOSS), is demonstrating the technology and functionality of exchanging health information to benefit patients who receive their care from multiple providers. The initiative gives health care providers access to information that is essential to offering their patients quality, safe and timely care.

The goal of the Connecticut HIE pilot project is to design, implement and evaluate the feasibility of a Health Information Exchange for Connecticut’s Medicaid Program and clients. Initially, the project focused on Connecticut’s Medicaid population. It was later expanded, at the request of providers, to include all patients regardless of payer. This extended the value of the project by implementing a consistent way of accessing information to support delivery of quality care at no additional technology cost.

"The Connecticut DSS Health Information Exchange is already helping to improve the quality, safety and cost-effectiveness of health care in the five pilot facilities by offering providers quick access to diagnoses, current medication lists, test results, drug allergies, side effects and other key information at the point of care,” said Angelo S. Carrabba, M.D., chairman of eHealthConnecticut, Inc. and past president of the Connecticut State Medical Society. “As a health care provider, I personally believe that having the right information at the right time when treating my patients reduces the possibility of medication errors and other patient harm from occurring, while improving the quality of health care I deliver to them."

The pilot HIE system is hosted in a secure and confidential data center at the Connecticut Hospital Association. It operates in compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) to protect the privacy and security of patient information.

The HIE pilot provides a secure, interoperable, health information infrastructure to enable timely exchange of medical data between providers at the point of care. This will mean improved patient outcomes, reduction in service duplication and medication errors, and a decreased rate at which health care spending occurs.

Health Care Provider and Patient Value:

The five facilities participating in this path-breaking initiative are currently registering patients and contributing clinical summary documents to the HIE. There are over 250 HIEs in the country, but less than 20 percent of those are actually exchanging data across non-affiliated providers. The pilot initiative is one of the few that have achieved this milestone. More than 70,000 patients are registered, with that number growing daily.

“The HIE successfully brings together health care information technology stakeholders to collaborate and implement standards for communicating patient information securely and efficiently throughout and among health care enterprises. It offers an effective framework for interoperability that helps providers and patients alike,” said “Steve O’Neill, CIO of Hartford Hospital and an eHealthConnecticut Board member.

The Exchange will be capable of offering other functions such as secure email, eReferrals, lab ordering and results reporting, radiology image viewing and other functions. Eventually, it could also support disease management making available the communication vehicle to assist in coordinating health care interventions and communications that can drive patient education in self-care as well as the delivery of health care services. In the process of improving quality of life for individuals by preventing or minimizing the effects of a disease, managing quality improvement in these areas will also contribute to reducing health care costs.

The HIE pilot project was part of the State of Connecticut’s preparation for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that was passed by Congress in 2010. Further health information technology efforts are under way, including the initiative of Health Information Technology Exchange of Connecticut (HITE-CT), the authority responsible for coordinating HIE in the state.

About eHealthConnecticut, Inc.:

eHealthConnecticut, Inc. is a not for profit entity incorporated in January 2006 focused on enhancing health care services for the benefit of all Connecticut residents. It represents a collaborative approach to meeting the challenges of health information technology adoption and interoperability throughout the State. A Board of Directors representing physicians, providers, consumers, purchasers, payers, academia, and quality organizations governs eHealthConnecticut, with State agency officials providing direction on an ex-officio basis. eHealthConnecticut represents the combined governance and resources of the public and private sectors and has the flexibility of a private corporation. The organization operates in a transparent fashion with the necessary privacy and security protections in place to earn trust from all entities and the general public. eHealthConnecticut provides a unified voice and coordinating resource for regional health information exchange efforts across Connecticut, while encouraging diversity and locally-based operations.

About Misys Open Source Solutions:

Misys Open Source Solutions, LLC, a division of Misys plc, supports the Misys banking, treasury & capital markets and healthcare customers by leading the development of open source projects to create new services and applications to address these industry’s most difficult problems. Misys Open Source Solutions, based in New York City, is currently leading projects to dramatically reduce atmospheric pollution and improve healthcare delivery.

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