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Nationwide Children’s Hospital Joins Statewide HIE

May 28, 2013
by Rajiv Leventhal
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Nationwide Children’s Hospital is the first hospital in central Ohio to join the new statewide health information exchange (HIE) that will allow sharing of patient health information among medical professionals across the state.

Currently, 89 hospitals in Ohio now are contracted with the Ohio Health Information Partnership, the Hilliard-based nonprofit that manages the exchange—called CliniSync. Thirty-seven hospitals are now live on the network , and more than 1,200 physicians have signed up for services with 700 already receiving results and reports directly from their local hospitals. 

"Our physicians will have access to lab and radiology results, as well as transcribed reports, from other partner hospitals via the Ohio Health Information Partnership portal in an expedient, accurate manner," Denise Zabawski, vice president and CIO for Information Services at Nationwide Children's, said in a statement.  "Our goal in joining the HIE is to improve the continuity of patient care and communication between healthcare providers and enhance the ability of our physicians to quickly access necessary information about patients in order to initiate care faster.”

Columbus-based Nationwide Children’s joins three other children’s hospitals in the network, including The Dayton Children’s Hospital, University Hospitals Rainbow Babies in Cleveland and Mercy Children’s Hospital in Toledo. Nationwide Children’s has a medical staff of 1,100 and 10,000 employees who provide pediatric care with one million patient visits annually, including infants, children, adolescents and adults with congenital diseases. 

As a nonprofit currently federally funded through the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) for HIT, the Partnership assisted in ensuring that more than 6,400 primary care physicians receive preparation and training for selection of their electronic health record systems.  Federal funding also covers the implementation of hospitals to the CliniSync HIE as well as software at no charge to physicians’ practices who want to connect to hospitals.

Dan Paoletti, chief information officer of the Partnership, said in a statement that he’s particularly excited that pediatricians and other clinicians who work directly with Nationwide Children’s Hospital will soon have access to real-time electronic information, rather than getting test results and reports through slower, antiquated methods such as faxing. “The ability for hospitals and physicians to communicate electronically will streamline the delivery of critical results and reports, making the flow of information faster and even more accurate than on paper,” Paoletti said. “In the end, it comes down to patients and how the efficient exchange of health information will improve how different doctors can coordinate care for them in a more timely way.

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