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Massachusetts Launches Statewide HIE

October 16, 2012
by Gabriel Perna
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The Massachusetts eHealth Collaborative (MAeHC), a non-profit aimed at improving healthcare through IT, recently announced that the health information exchange (HIE) has officially launched in the state by MeHI, the Massachusetts eHealth Institute. The HIE is officially known as the Massachusetts Health Information Highway (HIway). At an event, the state’s Governor, Deval Patrick executed the first transaction transmitting his own health record between two hospitals on opposite ends of the Commonwealth. Earlier this year, Patrick announced Massachusetts got funds from CMS to build its statewide HIE.

In addition, at the event, which was dubbed Golden Spike, MAeHC was able to receive a health record from the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) into its Quality Data Center (QDC).

“We are thrilled that the QDC was able to demonstrate the Massachusetts HIway’s ability to securely send a standardized patient medical record during today’s Golden Spike,” Micky Tripathi, CEO for MAeHC, said in a statement. “This marks another huge advancement for the state’s healthcare information infrastructure and the safe and efficient transportation of EHRs. Today’s event was also a great opportunity to showcase the QDC’s ability to accept patient data and normalize it for reporting to various regulatory and compliance programs such as Meaningful Use and PQRS, all of which are aimed at improving the delivery of patient care.”

Upon receiving the BIDMC patient record, MAeHC’s QDC was able to extract clinical data elements of the transmitted medical record and prepare it for future analysis and reporting. The record which belongs to Kathy Halamka, co-owner at Unity Farm and wife of BIDMC CIO, John D. Halamka, M.D., is stored in a high-performance cloud-based patient records data warehouse.  

“The BIDMC-MAeHC transaction during today’s event was a great demonstration of the Commonwealth’s new HIE infrastructure as well as the QDC’s capabilities,” Halamka said in a statement. “Now with streamlined access to the QDC, BIDMC’s reporting will be even faster and more accurate than ever before. MAeHC’s QDC has historically been one of the most trusted resources for BIDMC – reliable and safe enough for my wife’s EHR to be the first transmitted through the HIway – and we look forward to many more transactions via the state’s latest resource.”

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