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North Dakota Gov. Launches HIE

March 6, 2014
by Gabriel Perna
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North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple launched the statewide health information exchange this week, connecting physicians and healthcare providers in one of the most active states for electronic health record (EHR) adoption.

Dalrympe and a number other stakeholders rolled out what is being called the North Dakota Health Information Network (NDHIN) this week. Already, North Dakota has gotten a number of providers on the network, although it didn't disclose specific numbers.

In total, the state has one of the highest rates of EHR adoption nationwide, according to Dalrymple. Citing statistics from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 83 percent of physicians utilize EHR systems capable of connecting with the network in North Dakota. The national average is 48 percent.

“By strengthening the quality and accessibility of healthcare in our state, we enhance the livability of our communities and the quality of life of our people,” Dalrymple said in a statement. “Sharing electronic health records is an important part of those efforts, enhancing patient care while reducing healthcare costs.”

Every single one of of North Dakota hospitals have indicated they will go live with their EHR systems this year. The numbers are similarly impressive for the state's long-term care facilities. In 2013, nearly half of them reported an active EHR system, with an additional 33 percent indicating they would go live within two years and half of North Dakota’s public health units indicated having, or were in the process of implementing, an EHR.

“This is an important investment in the quality of healthcare in North Dakota,”  Sheldon Wolf, NDHIN director, said in a statement. “The North Dakota Health Information Network allows providers secure access to the medical information necessary to provide quality healthcare anywhere and anytime.”

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