Overseeing all aspects of public health services, the State Department of Health, New Jersey, has announced an award of $1.57M to a coalition of health organizations, including Jersey Health Connect, Virtua, and Camden Health Information Exchange (HIE), among others. The overriding aim is to create and operate a statewide network – sharing patient health information electronically; reducing service duplication and operational costs while providing governance and management of the data exchange process.
The New Jersey Health Information Network (NJHIN) will connect regional health information organizations that currently exchange data among local healthcare providers. In the first instance, the network will unite approximately 2000 providers, a number that is set to increase over time, officials say.
The healthcare providers will connect via their regional health information organization – a group of physician offices, hospitals, and healthcare stakeholders that come together to electronically exchange patient health information among their members to improve health and delivery of care across a community.
“The creation of the New Jersey Health Information Network will further expand the use of health information technology and health information exchange to better coordinate patient care in our state," announced New Jersey Health Commissioner Mary E. O’Dowd in a statement. “NJHIN will allow appropriate healthcare providers across the state to have electronic access to patient information such as medical histories, medication allergies and lab test results at the point of care.”
The NJHIN coalition members were selected using a competitive Request for Applications process using the following criteria: commitment to the success of HIE efforts in New Jersey, technical capability to deliver the requested technology services, and demonstrated experience working with diverse stakeholder groups to achieve common objectives.
Funding to create NJHIN is provided through a US Department of Health and Human Services Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT grant, and it is anticipated that NJHIN will be operational as soon as early 2014.