Greater Houston Healthconnect today announced that it selected health information exchange (HIE) solutions, from the Salt Lake City, Utah-based Medicity, to create a community-wide HIE linking more than 130 hospitals and 14,000 physicians in Southeast Texas. Healthconnect will bridge existing networks of major health systems, together with independent hospitals and providers, in a 20-county region to improve the quality and lower the cost of care for 7 million area residents.
Healthconnect has received signed letters of interest in support of the HIE from the major providers in the Texas Medical Center. Every major health system in Houston has or plans to implement an HIE for their organization. Healthconnect will work with them to link their HIEs to each other, creating an interoperable, standards-based network of networks that adds value to the IT investments these health systems have already made. This connectivity will enable more informed, collaborative and cost-effective clinical decision-making, which will benefit providers and patients throughout the region.
Availability of a patient's health record will help providers reduce duplication of tests and procedures, enhance the physician referral and care transition process, and lower the significant cost of emergency care. While a fully-implemented HIE in the Houston region will benefit the entire community, the first phase of Healthconnect's initiative will involve connecting emergency medical services systems and participating hospital emergency departments so patient information can be readily accessible in an emergency. This initial phase is designed to address one of Houston's long-standing concerns: overcrowding and over-utilization of emergency department services.