By Katie Wike, contributing writer
State expects the community shared services platform will allow providers to exchange EMRs and will improve the quality, cost, and efficiency of healthcare
The Pennsylvania EHealth Partnership Authority - a state agency working to improve healthcare outcomes - announced it will be implementing “the technology that will enable the secure, confidential electronic exchange of medical information by healthcare providers” across the state. This is part of the Authority’s creation of a statewide community shared services (CSS) platform designed to connect 11 regional and statewide HIEs, as well as four certified health information service providers (HISPs).
According to Alix Gross, the state’s Health Information Technology coordinator and program director for the Authority, the awarding of an $8.9 million contract to Truven Health Analytics to complete the implementation will put an end to “the days of faxing medical records from one doctor’s office to another or having to carry hard copies of your medical records with you.” Gross went on to say, “We can begin to create a statewide network of networks that literally puts the exchange of medical information at the fingertips of health providers. Ultimately, this will improve the quality, cost and efficiency of healthcare.”
EHR Intelligence notes the significance of the program, writing “Coordination between the participants will be no easy task, but Pennsylvania will be setting an example for other states who will eventually turn their eyes to similar initiatives, especially as HIE becomes increasingly important during the latter stages of meaningful use.”
The Pennsylvania eHealth Partnership Authority notes the CSS will include a suite of registries, indexing services, and security functions that will create a cost-effective pathway between certified HIEs and HISPs so they can exchange information. Medical providers will subscribe or contract with an HIE or HISP so they can exchange electronic medical records.