Two North Carolina health information exchanges (HIEs)—Carolinas HealthCare System CareConnect and Mission Health Connect—have agreed to share the health records of patients across the Carolinas.
The Charlotte-based Carolinas HealthCare System CareConnect is currently collaborating with other HIEs across the state, bringing the total number of unique patient records that will be available to clinicians on the platform to more than 3.5 million. This new digital record repository will aim to allow hospitals, physicians and other medical professionals in North Carolina to electronically share patient records to improve health outcomes, avoid duplicate testing and reduce costs.
“Our patients’ health doesn’t see boundaries and neither should access to their health records,” Craig Richardville, president of CareConnect and senior vice president/CIO for Carolinas HealthCare System. “This collaboration is allowing our patients to receive better healthcare coverage across the Carolinas. Providers will have a broader view of their patient’s health and medication history to be able to make more informed decisions on a patient’s care.”
In the western part of North Carolina, this collaboration will fill a need for an area that is about to lose its publicly funded HIE, Data Link. Western North Carolina Health Network, which is comprised of 17 facilities, currently uses Data Link, which will shut down operations on Sept. 30, 2014 when it’s funding ceases.
“Patients will be better served by their medical information being available virtually anywhere they would choose to seek care—from North Carolina’s mountains to its shoreline,” Sulaiman H. Sulaiman, senior vice president and CIO, Mission Health (Asheville, N.C.), said in a statement. “And, they can feel confident that the system will be secure and available 24/7. This partnership also creates value for the patient, community and state because it’s based on a sustainable model, and helps all involved realize efficiencies that allow us to devote our precious resources where they matter most—patient care.”