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Minnesota Celebrates 10 Years of E-Health Progress

July 2, 2014
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High degree of public-private collaboration makes the Land of 10,000 Lakes a national model for health reform

Last month the state of Minnesota held its 10th Anniversary E-Health Summit, with National Coordinator for Health IT Karen DeSalvo, M.D., providing the opening keynote. It was a chance for stakeholders in the state to celebrate achievements and look ahead to 2015, when interoperable electronic health records are required by state legislation.

Statistics from the Minnesota Department of Health and the Office of the National Coordinator tell part of the story of the last decade. CMS has paid $450 million in meaningful use incentives to Minnesota providers and hospitals to date. Between 2004 and 2014, the number of hospitals with EHRs grew from 9 percent to 99 percent. Clinics with EHRs went from 17 percent to 93 percent. Nursing homes with EHRs grew from 7 percent to 69 percent, and the number of pharmacies e-prescribing went from 5 percent to 95 percent.

Sixty-eight percent of hospitals and 82 percent of clinics are using CPOE. Seventy-two percent of clinics are offering patient portals and 96 percent say their EHR has enhanced patient care. 

Concerning health information exchange, 73 percent of hospitals are exchanging data with any organization and 56 percent are exchanging with unaffiliated organizations. For clinics those numbers are 75 percent and 40 percent, respectively.

Drilling down into that data a little deeper, only 20 percent of providers exchanging data used a state-certified HIE service provider in 2013. But 47 percent were exchanging with providers using the same EHR system as their hospital. Only 14 percent were exchanging with providers that use a different EHR. Only 1 percent was exchanging data across state lines.

At the event, several health executives received Leadership and Impact Awards, and each offered a few written reflections on the last decade. “Minnesota should be proud of the progress made on e-Health in the past 10 years,” noted Marty LaVenture, director of the Office of Health IT & e-Health in the Minnesota Department of Health. The state should also “be humbled by the enormous commitment and dedication of so many professionals statewide; be gratified by the high degree and success of the public-private collaboration; be determined to bridge the remaining gaps; and be committed to help achieve the promise of the Minnesota Learning Health System.”

Bill Brand, director of informatics science for the Public Health Informatics Institute in Atlanta, had served as the deputy director in the Center for Health Informatics in the Minnesota Department of Health from 2005 to 2008.

“Looking from my current national perspective,” Brand wrote, “it is more clear to me than ever that Minnesota can claim an exceptional level of practical collaboration across all sectors that is truly impressive and a model for the nation.”