Eight of the largest health care organizations in Minnesota have successfully launched software that enables electronic sharing of patient records across the group–and with other network members nationwide. The network of interoperable systems allows for an estimated 75 percent of Minnesotans (3.6 million patients) to show up at any one of the organizations’ hospitals or clinics and have records from previous visits immediately available to doctors.
The eight health care organizations are members of the St. Paul-based Minnesota Epic User Group (MNEUG). The organizations that are currently using the system are:
- Allina Hospitals & Clinics
- CentraCare Health System
- Essentia Health
- Fairview Health Services
- HealthPartners Clinics and Regions Hospital
- Hennepin County Medical Center
- North Memorial Health Care
- Sanford Health
CentraCare, North Memorial, and HCMC conducted a pilot program to test the system last winter, and the eight organizations went online in a phased rollout that we completed this summer. Altru Health System and Park Nicollet Health Services will join the EHR network within the year.
The organizations are able to share information through the Care Everywhere software and network, developed by their shared software vendor, Epic (Verona, Wis.). Patients must consent to each connection between two organizations at each visit in accordance with applicable laws. Physicians report that the ability to access and share patient records quickly and securely enhances the quality and continuity of care for patients.
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