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Mass HIE Enhances Capabilities

January 8, 2014
by Gabriel Perna
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This week, Massachusetts Governor, Deval Patrick helped launch the next phase of the Massachusetts HIway Health Information Exchange (HIE), presenting a feature that allows providers to locate, request, and retrieve medical records from other participants on an interconnected system.

The technology was announced at an event a Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) where Patrick witnessed doctors demonstrating the technology in a medical setting.  In the simulated environment, the patient presented was unresponsive, but using the Mass Hiway, doctors were able to discover the patient had medical records at Atrius Health, Holyoke Medical Center, and Tufts Medical Center. They used the HIE to request and receive those record. This allowed the providers to avoid drug-to-drug and allergic reactions, duplicative testing and delayed diagnosis.

 “This technology is a win for all of us – it will help us reduce health costs, improve patient care and save lives,” Governor Patrick said at the event. “Accurate health information is the fuel of our health care system, and these innovations will allow providers to treat patients with greater accuracy and speed.”

The HIway went live for use by the Massachusetts healthcare community on Oct. 6, 2012. Patrick’s own record was sent across the state in real time at that event. Massachusetts was the first state in the nation to receive funding through Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services to develop the HIE.

“The new MassHIway technology enables providers to more quickly diagnose patient conditions,” stated Massachusetts Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) John Polanowicz. “It will allow providers to better prevent medical errors such as drug-to-drug or allergic reactions; and will help discontinue fax and paper-based records that take precious time and cost millions of dollars.”


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