Georgia healthcare providers are taking a step toward fostering interoperability between healthcare providers and behavioral health as the Georgia Information Technology (GAIT) Consortium has joined the Georgia Regional Academic Community Health Information Exchange (GRAChIE), the largest health information exchange (HIE) organization in Georgia.
The GAIT Consortium is comprised of ten behavioral health service providers in the state of Georgia who have joined together to develop a common electronic health record. By connecting to GRAChIE, GAIT is better able to discover patient information, particularly for those with behavioral health issues.
GRAChIE leaders note that this is a significant development as behavioral health providers do not typically participate in HIEs for a number of reasons. “This connection proves there are ways to meet regulatory burdens that often prevent these providers from accessing the benefits an HIE can offer,” the organization leaders said in a press release.
“Through our connection to GRAChIE, we are able to know instantly what medications a patient is taking or if they have recently been seen in a hospital. We can now do in minutes what used to take hours or even days.” Tom Ford, CEO of Lookout Mountain Community Services, said in a statement.
“By using GRAChIE, a hospital or clinic has access to patient health records which will allow them to improve care transitions with a more complete record of patient health information,” Tara Cramer, executive director of GRAChIE, said. “GRAChIE allows a provider to access patient health data as well as to contribute to a patient’s health record to facilitate care transitions securely through an embedded EMR connection.”
The partnership between GRAChIE and GAIT was made possible through Chatham County Safety Net Planning Council (Safety Net) in Chatham, GA and their relationship with the area’s Community Service Board, Gateway Behavioral Health (GCSB). Safety Net’s local HIE, ChathamHealthLink (CHL), merged with GRAChIE in 2014 and provides connectivity for a coalition of local safety net health care providers in order to strengthen the continuity of care for uninsured, underinsured and highly vulnerable populations.