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GaHIN Connection to National eHealth Exchange Paves the Way for State-to-State Exchange of Health Information

July 24, 2014
by John DeGaspari
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National connectivity enables seamless and secure interstate record-sharing

Georgia Health Information Network (GaHIN), the statewide health information exchange network that electronically connects Georgia hospitals, physicians and clinicians to exchange patient health information, today announced its “go live” status with the eHealth Exchange (formerly known as the Nationwide Health Information Network), which a program under the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC). As of January 2014, an eHealth Exchange survey revealed that more than 800 hospitals and 6,000 medical groups are participating in the national network.

Operating since 2009, GaHIN connects members consisting of regional health information exchange (HIE), hospital systems, physician groups and individual practitioners across the state of Georgia. There are nearly 16 million patient records in the Georgia network.

According to GaHIN, its members have automatic access to the national network, and are able to augment their continuity of care by enhancing patient care coordination among other authorized providers and affiliates nationwide. The network helps its members achieve meaningful use (Stages 1 and 2), gives access a more complete view of their patients’ health information directly from their electronic health record (EHR) systems, including Medicaid health and pharmacy information, and immunization updates and reporting from the Georgia Registry of Immunization Transactions and Services (GRITS), managed by the Department of Public Health. Members also have the advantage of all existing and future services including lab routing, admission, discharge and transfer alerts, referral requests and secure messaging.

“With GaHIN's national connectivity comes Georgia's ability to share medical information immediately and securely with neighboring states, and eventually more states across the U.S.,” said Denise Hines, executive director of GaHIN in a prepared statement. “This expanded connectivity allows for the delivery of the right health information to the right place at the right time—no matter where the patient is receiving care—across a robust national network.”

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