Kentucky HIE project reaches major milestone

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Officials involved in a collaborative healthcare IT initiative between Kentucky Health Information Exchange (KHIE), Healthbridge and St. Elizabeth Healthcare say they have reached a significant milestone in their interconnectivity project.

The primary objective of the collaboration is to improve data exchange and interconnectivity between KHIE, disparate medical informatics systems and healthcare providers throughout the state. St. Elizabeth Healthcare, which is among the largest care organizations in Kentucky, has been sharing patient data with Healthbridge, one of the first financially sustainable HIE projects in the country.

In addition to sharing data between St. Elizabeth and KHIE, Healthbridge has also joined the Nationwide Health Information Exchange (NwHIE) network, further improving interconnectivity standards in Kentucky and providing physicians with access to medical data from specialists across the country. Information transferred throughout the network uses the Direct and Connect file sharing protocol.

Increased interconnectivity of healthcare IT networks throughout Kentucky has enabled physicians to share information on patient demographics, test results, radiology reports, admission notices and discharge summaries relating to individual patients receiving care across the state.

Doctors will soon be able to access data on prescription medications, potential allergies, existing medical conditions and other information that will enable them to make better and more timely decisions relating to patient care.

“We have always believed that good information is essential for providing exceptional care, and that is why we have been a leader in health information exchange,” said Alex Rodriguez, chief information officer at St. Elizabeth Healthcare. “We are pleased to work with HealthBridge and the Kentucky Health Information Exchange to ensure there is a secure way to share information with other healthcare organizations in Kentucky involved in patient care.”

The KHIE was one of 17 healthcare IT projects that received funding from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT under the Beacon Community and State Health Information Exchange programs.