The New Jersey statewide health information exchange (HIE) launched this week, according to the New Jersey Health Commissioner Mary E. O'Dowd.
The New Jersey Health Information Network (NJHIN) will connect six regional health information organizations (HIOs): the Camden HIE, Highlander--connecting greater Newark area providers, Jersey Health Connect--connecting central and northern NJ providers, NJSHINE--connecting southern NJ providers, Trenton HIE, and Virtua HIE--connecting Virtua, Kennedy Health System, and Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. In reality, the exchange began in February with the exchange of information between Camden HIE, NJSHINE, Jersey Health Connect, Highlander and the Department of Health's Immunization Information System. This week officially links those major HIOs.
"A coordinated, statewide health information exchange system allows health care providers to keep track of patients' medications and test results, avoid unnecessary procedures and improve outcomes," O'Dowd said in a statement. "The network will enhance access to patient information, improves quality of care and reduces costs. In medical emergencies, access to a patient's medical and medication record could mean the difference between life and death."
The Department of Health in New Jersey received a $11.6 million grant to support the health information exchange through the development of regional health information organizations and the NJHIN. The department also helped hospitals and providers receive $515 million in federal electronic health record (EHR) incentive funding to increase the use of EHRs in New Jersey.
"I am proud of the Department's work with New Jersey's provider community that allowed so many practices and institutions to receive federal payments to update their technology to help patients," said O'Dowd.