News | April 30, 2015

CHI St. Luke's Health Joins Greater Houston Healthconnect

Majority of hospital market now participating in regional health information exchange

CHI St. Luke’s Health (CHI St. Luke’s) and Greater Houston Healthconnect announced recently the addition of the health system to the regional health information exchange.

Nick Bonvino, Greater Houston Healthconnect's CEO, welcomed CHI St Luke’s, “We are delighted that CHI St. Luke’s hospitals and their affiliated physicians have joined other members in the coordination of care for their patients. This is an important milestone for the quality of care delivered across our community, and for Greater Houston Healthconnect as the neutral entity connecting all caregivers with patient health information and diagnostic images.”

CHI St. Luke’s earlier announced its intention to build a broad network of primary care and specialty physicians to complement its six hospitals, three emergency centers, and other service locations. With population health as a key goal, the CHI St Luke’s network will utilize access to patient health information from any of the participating Healthconnect facilities in order to achieve clinical integration, manage transitions of care, and improve long term health outcomes.

CHI St. Luke’s President and CEO Michael Covert, explained the value of health information exchange within a community health model, “CHI St. Luke’s and our network of partner physicians are endeavoring to reach patients where they are in the community by offering them flexibility of care options and smart information systems to help them stay healthy. As part of Greater Houston Healthconnect we’re letting our patients know that we care about them no matter where they had or will receive care in the future. Their medical information should follow them wherever they go―seamlessly. We need a neutral, community-based organization to accomplish that.” CHI operates hospitals in Lufkin and Bryan-College Station, which will also become part of the health information exchange.

Dr. Spencer Berthelsen, Chairman and Managing Director of the Kelsey-Seybold Medical Group, which has been a member of the exchange since 2013, emphasized the importance of CHI St Luke’s and other major institutions participating in the exchange, “KelseySeybold physicians are pleased to see St Luke’s demonstrating their commitment to better healthcare by enabling patients to share their medical records with the physicians and institutions they choose.”

Healthconnect partners with the Texas Health Services Authority (THSA), the statewide body responsible for connecting regional HIEs throughout Texas. Tony Gilman, CEO of THSA, congratulated Healthconnect on this newest addition to the network, “On behalf of the THSA we are very pleased with the continued success of Greater Houston Healthconnect. They are the region’s connection to HIETexas, our statewide network, which enables Houston providers to connect with other areas of the state and, through HIETexas, to the national eHealth Exchange. Healthconnect is a wonderful example of a successful community HIE in action, and we know the tremendous impact the network will have on coordinated, quality healthcare for all Texans in the region."

Greater Houston Healthconnect currently has agreements with 284 healthcare organizations, representing over 50% of area hospital beds and 40% of physicians. Millions of patient records are available for query through the exchange and almost all major Texas Medical Center institutions participate. CHI St. Luke’s Health operates 1363 beds in the region.

About Greater Houston Healthconnect
Greater Houston Healthconnect is an independent, community-based organization enabling interoperability among healthcare providers in Southeast Texas. Its mission is to exchange health records and diagnostic images electronically across organizations to enhance the quality, safety, and efficiency of care for all patients throughout the region. Key stakeholders include healthcare providers, payers, employers and the community as a whole. For more information, visit http://www.ghhconnect.org/.

About CHI St. Luke’s Health
CHI St. Luke’s Health is committed to excellence and compassion in caring for the whole person while creating healthier communities. CHI St. Luke’s Health is comprised of six facilities across the Houston metropolitan area, including CHI St. Luke’s Health-Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center, a quaternary care facility that is home to the Texas Heart Institute, a world-class cardiovascular research and education institution founded in 1962 by Denton A. Cooley, MD. Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center was the first hospital in Texas designated as an ANCC Magnet Hospital for Nursing Excellence, receiving the award four times. CHI St. Luke’s Health is a part of Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI), one of the nation’s largest health systems. For more information, visit stlukestexas.com.

SOURCE: Greater Houston Healthconnect