Sunday, February 22, 2009

System Launched in California

According to a CalRHIO, a statewide system to provide physicians with secure electronic access to critical patient information will be launched at 23 Orange County emergency departments. The HIE initiative is a collaboration between the California Regional Health Information Organization (CalRHIO) a nonprofit public-private partnership and the Orange County Partnership Regional Health Information Organization (OCPRHIO), a multi-stakeholder collaborative. Molly Coye, MD, CalRHIO Board Chair reports that the HIE initiative is the first step in making comprehensive information available electronically for all Californians.

The new system will augment information already available to Orange County emergency department physicians who care for the county’s indigent population. The information is part of the Medical Services Initiative Program, a county funded safety net program.

Initially the system will provide emergency department physicians with medical record information on 360,000 patients enrolled in CalOptima that provides coverage for people in Medi-Cal, Medicare, and Healthy Kids. The system is to go live by July 2009.

By leveraging the CalRHIO’s technology platform, OCPRHIO does not incur the time and expense of building its own data exchange system. Also physicians in the county will be able to communicate with other doctors and hospitals across the state as well as the national network when it is available.

By early 2010, the CalRHIO system will provide additional data to emergency physicians including medical history, laboratory data, and clinical claims data for patients with commercial insurance. Use of the health information is restricted to patient care and is protected and exchanged under strict medical privacy and confidentiality regulations.