Ohio's CliniSync Health Information Exchange today announced the signing of Harrison Community Hospital in Cadiz as well as Wilson Memorial Hospital in Sidney, bringing the number of Ohio hospitals in the CliniSync statewide health information exchange (HIE) to 101.
CliniSync makes it possible for hospitals, physicians, nurses and others who care for a patient to electronically share patient health information with one another. CliniSync is run by the non-profit Ohio Health Information Partnership (The Partnership) and powered by Medicity, a leading provider of HIE technology. CliniSync is on a trajectory to become one of the largest public HIEs in the nation in 2014.
CliniSync allows facilities and practices with different electronic health record systems to directly communicate with one another. Previously, some physicians and hospitals could already electronically share patient information regionally or within their own systems, but the CliniSync exchange is statewide, crossing over the boundaries of hospital walls and health systems.
"While we're excited by our rapid progress and the collaboration of Ohio's hospitals and medical community, we're even more enthusiastic about what this exchange means for the care of Ohio's patients," says Dan Paoletti, CEO of the Ohio Health Information Partnership. "When physicians and clinicians can electronically talk with one another – no matter where their patient is treated – the potential for improved care, faster and more effective treatment, and better coordination among treating physicians and facilities can occur."
Nancy Ham, Medicity's CEO, says, "CliniSync is making great strides in creating a connected health network in Ohio. Ready access to patient health information not only reduces the paperwork burden for physicians and patients, it can help improve health care decisions and outcomes. We are excited to be part of this work in Ohio."
The Partnership selected Medicity as its technology partner in April 2011 after a rigorous review of vendors. CliniSync initially received $14.9 million in federal grant monies from the Office of the National Coordinator for HIT under the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.
In Ohio, the CliniSync HIE covers 77 out of Ohio's 88 counties with a potential network of 142 hospitals while HealthBridge, a Cincinnati-based regional HIE, connects the remaining southwestern Ohio counties and crosses over into Kentucky and Indiana, connecting 30 hospitals and 7,500 physicians. CliniSync and HealthBridge now share federal Direct protocols with one another so that physicians can communicate across the HIEs.
Through federal funding, CliniSync offers software powered by Medicity at no charge to practices, allowing them to share information with other CliniSync providers so they can send and receive secure, encrypted emails, can refer patients to one another with a management tool, and can receive results and reports directly from hospitals participating in CliniSync. These reports and results include laboratory results (general chemistry, microbiology, blood bank and pathology), as well as radiology and other transcribed reports (care summaries, history and physicals and progress notes).
For physicians in rural and underserved regions where there may not be significant resources, CliniSync is connecting their practices in ways they never thought possible.
"CliniSync allows us to electronically receive results and reports directly from Southern Ohio Medical Center (SOMC) on our patients," says Darren Adams, DO, an obstetrician/gynecologist in Portsmouth in the Appalachian region.
"But it also lets our practice and the local Community Action Health Clinic send information to SOMC's Maternity Department so we have mirror records. CliniSync eliminates phone calls, faxing and unnecessary time spent with paperwork. It's helping our area become a community of doctors," Dr. Adams says.
CliniSync liaisons in various regions throughout the state can connect the software in a physician's practice and provide training to the staff within just a few hours. As more Ohio hospitals go live on CliniSync, more physicians are joining the network.
Ohio has been cited by the Office of the National Coordinator for HIT (ONC) as a success model for health information technology by assisting more than 6,000 primary care physicians in the adoption of electronic health records. In turn, physicians receive electronic health record incentive payments through the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid when they use these records in ways that are meaningful for patients. To date, 17,096 providers have received $619.7 million in incentive payments, ranking Ohio sixth in the nation for the number of providers paid.
The next phase of CliniSync services will allow physicians to search for and find information about a patient who visited other providers, beginning with hospitals who adopted the technology early. This query and retrieval functionality will occur in the fourth quarter of 2013.
The Ohio Health Information Partnership is assisting more than 6,000 primary care physicians with the adoption of electronic health records through federal funding. In addition, The Partnership received a grant of $14.9 million for the creation of a technological infrastructure (CliniSync) that allows hospitals, physicians, clinicians, laboratories and others involved in a patient's care to communicate electronically and share patient data. The Partnership's founders include the Ohio State Medical Association, Ohio Osteopathic Association, Ohio Hospital Association, BioOhio and the State of Ohio. The Partnership is funded through the Office of the National Coordinator, U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services, grant numbers 90RC0012 and 90HT0024. More information can be found at the Ohio Health Information Partnership website at www.clinisync.org.
Medicity is the leading innovator and largest provider of health information exchange (HIE) technology, with more than 800 hospitals and 250,000 providers in its connected ecosystem. Medicity's solutions empower hospitals, physicians and HIEs with secure access to and exchange of health information – improving the quality and efficiency of patient care locally, regionally and nationally.