The Nebraska Health Information Initiative (NeHII), Nebraska's statewide Health Information Exchange (HIE) announced recently that within the past month, fourteen Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) have joined it in an effort to access and share health information across the state.
Powered by the Axolotl HIE platform from OptumInsight, NeHII electronically delivers clinical information at the point of care, integrating a wide variety of patient clinical data including laboratory results, ER reports, discharge summaries, radiology reports, progress notes, transcription, medications and other medical information.
Critical Access Hospitals that have joined NeHII include:
• Antelope Memorial Hospital, Neligh, NE
• Avera Creighton Hospital, Creighton, NE
• Avera St. Anthony's Hospital, O'Neill, NE
• Chase County Community Hospital, Imperial, NE
• Cherry County Hospital, Valentine, NE
• Community Hospital, McCook, NE
• Community Medical Center, Falls City, NE
• Community Memorial Hospital, Syracuse, NE
• Lexington Regional Health Center, Lexington, NE
• Memorial Health Center, Sidney, NE
• Perkins County Health Services, Grant, NE
• Plainview Area Health System, Plainview, NE
• Providence Medical Center, Wayne, NE
• Tri Valley Health Center, Cambridge, NE
Small hospitals may be certified as CAHs to help implement initiatives and strengthen the rural healthcare infrastructure. In 1997, the Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility Program was established to promote regionalization of rural health services in the state and to improve the quality of healthcare and access to hospital and other health services for rural residents of the state.
Among other requirements, CAHs must be located in rural areas separated from other hospitals by at least 35 miles or less in mountainous terrain or areas with only secondary roads available, and are required to provide emergency services 24 hours per day. Nebraska ranks among the highest in the number of CAHs in the nation with 65.
Physicians working with the newly-participating CAHs will have secure access to electronically exchange and share clinical patient information and medication history with other hospitals and healthcare providers across the state that care for their patients.