Skip to content Skip to navigation

States Prepare for Seamless Exchange of Health Records after Disasters

July 12, 2013
by John DeGaspari
| Reprints
10-state HIE programs have established infrastructure for secure exchange of health information

Four Gulf states have partnered with six states in the East and Midwest to help patients and providers access critical health information when they are unable to visit their regular doctors or hospitals. The initiative is part of an effort to help make sure their residents’ health information is available after a hurricane or other widespread disaster.

Working with the Department of Health and Human Services Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC), health information exchange (HIE) programs in Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Michigan, Wisconsin, and West Virginia today announced their partnership to allow for the exchange of health information among providers caring for patients who are displaced from their homes.

All of the state HIE programs participating in the initiative currently have established at least one operational interstate connection and are working with other states including Arkansas and Mississippi.

According to the ONC announcement, the 10-state initiative is being made possible through information technology infrastructure provided through Direct, a tool that allows for the secure exchange of health information over the Internet.

“Through disasters like Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Sandy and large tornadoes in Alabama and Joplin, Missouri, in 2011 and more recently in Moore, Oklahoma, we have learned the importance of protecting patients’ health records through electronic tools like health information exchanges,” said Farzad Mostashari, M.D., national coordinator for health IT in a prepared statement. “Patients are better off when states and health information exchange organizations work together to ensure that health information can follow patients when they need it the most.”

A guidebook, published by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, can also help primary care clinicians connect their patients’ electronic health records to a local HIE hub and regional health information organizations.

The Southeast Regional Health IT and Health Information Exchange Collaboration (SERCH) is leading the collaborative effort. In 2012, SERCH completed an analysis of barriers to health information exchange and issued recommendations for developing HIE infrastructure to support disaster preparedness and response. In its final report, SERCH recommended a phased approach to use existing data sources such as health plans and state agencies to overcome barriers to HIE across states.



Attendance Appears to Slide at RSNA 2015

November 30, 2015
If the final attendance numbers of RSNA15 remain close to the advance registration figures posted Monday by RSNA officials, attendance this year will have dipped 16 percent

Survey: Digital Tomosynthesis and Cloud-Based Image Sharing Are on Radiology Providers’ Radars

November 30, 2015
There continues to be rapid advancements in medical imaging technology and many radiology providers see breast tomosynthesis as one of the most exciting new and emerging imaging technologies, according to a peer60 report.

ONC Report: Personal Health Records Should be Integrated into HIEs

November 30, 2015
A report from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) recommends that patients’ personal health records (PHRs) be implemented in health information exchanges (HIEs).

Lahey Hospital and Medical Center Fined $850K for Potential HIPAA Security Violations

November 25, 2015
Burlington, Mass.-based Lahey Hospital and Medical Center this week agreed to pay $850,000 to settle potential violations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy and Security Rules stemming from a 2011 security breach.

Genomic Medicine Clinic in Alabama Opens its Doors

November 25, 2015
Last week, a genomic medicine clinic opened in Huntsville, Ala. with the aim of utilizing the power of the genomic sequence to identify the causes of illness in children and adults with undiagnosed disease.

DoD, VA Say Interoperability Requirements Have Been Met

November 24, 2015
The Department of Defense (DoD) says that it has met the interoperability requirements for electronic health records (EHRs) as called for in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2014.

Senate Committee Advances Rural Health Care Connectivity Act

November 24, 2015
The U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation last week passed a bipartisan bill that would enable rural nursing facilities to tap into funding from the government’s Universal Service Fund for telecommunications and broadband services.

Black Book Research: IT Outsourcing Poised for Growth in Healthcare Payer Sector

November 23, 2015
A new Black Book Research report estimates the demands of data security, population health and value-based benefits solutions—and revenue cycle modernization—will drive the payer IT outsourcing market in excess of $60 billion by the end of 2017.

EHRA, HIMSS Comment on CMS Value-Based Payment Models

November 23, 2015
The Electronic Health Record Association (EHRA) and the Health Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) last week weighed in on the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) and voiced concerns about new data reporting requirements and new certification criteria for alternative payment models.

CMS Online Drug Mapping Tool Details Opioid Prescribing Patterns

November 20, 2015
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently unveiled an interactive online mapping tool which shows geographic comparisons at the state, county and ZIP code levels of de-identified Medicare Part D opioid prescription claims data.

Physician Optimization Project Proves Successful at Emory Healthcare

November 20, 2015
Physicians at the Atlanta, Ga.-based Emory Healthcare removed up to one-third of clicks from their ambulatory workflow and, on average, are spending 36 percent less time finishing charts from home as a result of its physician optimization project.

USDA Awards $23.4M in Grants for Rural Telemedicine Projects

November 20, 2015
In conjunction with National Rural Health Day yesterday, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $23.4 million in distance learning and telemedicine projects in rural areas.

Geisinger Health System Launches Patient Refund App

November 20, 2015
Geisinger Health System unveiled last week its ProvenExperience pilot program, which will offer refunds to dissatisfied patients.

Health IT Now Coalition Supports Veterans Telemedicine Bill

November 20, 2015
The Health IT Now Coalition, an organization comprised of healthcare providers, payers, patient groups and employers, wrote an endorsement letter of the Veterans E-Health and Telemedicine Support Act to the bill's cosponsors Senators Joni Ernst and Mazie Hirono.

KLAS: Providers Turn to Outside Firms for Value-Based Care Transitions

November 20, 2015
While some providers may have the ability to make the transition to value-based care (VBC) on their own, the vast majority of them are turning to firms who provide VBC consulting services and VBC managed services, according to a new survey from Orem, Utah-based KLAS Research.