Friday, October 19, 2012

Mass Health Information Exchange launched


SECURE SEND: Patrick, center, watches as his physician Harry Rubash, MD, chief of Orthopædics, sends his medical record through the HIE system to Baystate leaders, who joined the launch via videoconference.

“Clinical document successfully sent.”

With those four words, the Ether Dome erupted in applause as Gov. Deval Patrick’s health care record became the first to be transmitted through the new Massachusetts Health Information Exchange (HIE) system, sending it from the MGH to Baystate Health in Springfield. During the Oct. 16 HIE launch, Patrick was joined by health care leaders and early program adopters at the MGH, as well as staff and supporters at Baystate Health, which confirmed receipt of the record in real time via videoconference.

“In Massachusetts we believe the access to affordable, quality health care is a public good, and launching a secure, cutting-edge health information exchange is an important step in delivering on that,” Patrick said.

Earlier this year the Obama Administration approved Massachusetts’ request for $16.9 million in funding for the project through a combination of an American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grant and Medicaid funds. The HIE system, also known as “Mass HI-Way,” allows for electronic health information to be transmitted securely between health care providers and organizations to better coordinate care, increase patient safety and privacy, and lower health care costs.

“By expanding our connections and access to health information, we have the opportunity to be more efficient and most importantly, to improve the quality of care for our patients,” said MGH President Peter L. Slavin, MD.   

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