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Ohio Health Centers Join the Statewide HIE

October 30, 2013
by Rajiv Leventhal
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In Columbus Ohio, three federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) are joining the statewide CliniSync health information exchange (HIE), and will soon be able to connect to the 141 hospitals that have committed to CliniSync thus far.

The three facilities that have joined are: Lower Lights Christian Health Center (with locations in Franklinton on the west side of Columbus); Southeast (an integrated healthcare, mental health, and recovery organization located at a number of sites in downtown Columbus); and Columbus Neighborhood Health Center (comprised of seven centers in the Columbus metropolitan area).

Federally Qualified Health Centers are “safety net” providers such as community health centers, public housing centers, outpatient health programs funded by the Indian Health Service, and programs serving migrants and the homeless. The main purpose of the FQHC program is to enhance the provision of primary care services in underserved urban and rural communities.

In addition to the 141 hospitals that have committed to CliniSync thus far, are more than 1,500 physicians currently interested or connected. The Ohio Health Information Partnership, the nonprofit that manages CliniSync, says the number of providers who want to connect rises each day. The Partnership already has assisted 6,000 primary care physicians in the adoption of electronic health records (EHRs).

“The addition of federally qualified health centers to CliniSync is the foundation of the federal program initiated by the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) for HIT, which is to reach out to physicians and facilities in rural and urban communities where technology is the most needed, yet scarce resources often prevent its implementation,” Dan Paoletti, CEO of the Ohio Health Information Partnership, said in a statement.

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