The Bethlehem, Pa.-based St. Luke's University Health Network has elected to partner with the Pennsylvania eHealth Partnership Authority to connect the organization’s health information exchange (HIE), eVantageHealth, to others statewide.
Over the next five months, the PA eHealth Partnership Authority, eVantageHealth, and the Bellevue, Wash.-based Caradigm (St. Luke's HIE vendor) will be working to implement a governance structure and technology capabilities with plans to complete the pilot by the first-quarter of 2014. The PA eHealth Partnership Authority is an independent state agency that is working to meet federal requirements for HIE in Pennsylvania.
St. Luke's eVantageHealth organization believes the connectivity to the state's network will help to centralize patient demographic management, improve awareness of clinical data sharing, and unify consent management processes at disparate healthcare entities. Both the Authority and eVantageHealth utilize an opt-out format, allowing patients to determine how their clinical data is shared with providers.
From the Authority's perspective, the electronic sharing of health information allows a patient's medical records to be accessible—in a secure and authorized manner—whenever and wherever needed for patient decision-making, according to Alix Goss, PA Health IT Coordinator. “This exchange of information improves both healthcare and patient safety by simplifying coordination between care providers. Additionally, the need for duplicate tests is eliminated, saving real dollars,” he said.