Statewide HIE planned for Oregon

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Healthcare officials in Oregon have confirmed that a statewide health information exchange (HIE) initiative will be launched in the state.

The HIE, known as CareAccord, will improve interoperability between disparate medical informatics systems, facilitate achievement of stage two meaningful use objectives and improve standards of patient care.

International healthcare IT consultancy Harris Corporation was chosen by the Oregon Health Authority to oversee the implementation of the project. Harris has previously worked on several other large healthcare IT projects for the Department of Veterans Affairs and the state of Florida.

“CareAccord represents a win-win for both patients and providers,” Carol Robinson, Oregon state coordinator of health information technology at the OHA, said in a statement. “Providers will have the capacity to share vital medical history with specialists, labs and emergency departments. Patients will benefit from primary care physicians and specialists who can now exchange medical information electronically prior to scheduled appointments, improving patient safety and expanding the time patients have with their providers.”

According to Healthcare IT News, Oregon was one of six states that recently received grants from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to establish health insurance exchange (HIX) programs. Other recipients included Illinois, Nevada, South Dakota, Tennessee and Washington.

With the exception of Washington, the states were awarded Level One Exchange Establishment Grants with a value of more than $181 million. In addition to funding, the HHS will also offer guidance to the six states on how to implement large-scale healthcare IT projects.

Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of the HHS, said that HIX projects would enable consumers to find affordable healthcare coverage using the new technology. Customers will be able to use HIXs to compare state and private plans to select the coverage that suits their individual needs and budget.