St. Anthony's One of Several Hospitals Using a Shared Health Data Infrastructure

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Published on August 11 2014 3:10 pm
Last Updated on August 11 2014 3:10 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

Lincoln Land Health Information Exchange (Springfield) and Illinois Health Exchange Partners (Sauget) announced today the completion of a secure, shared infrastructure for nine hospital systems to transmit health data directly to other providers. They include physician practices electronic health records, physician practices with paper charts, nursing homes, home health providers, behavioral health providers and local public health departments that provide patient care.

Hospitals with completed connections and able to securely share patient data include Memorial Medical Center and St. John’s Hospital in Springfield, Blessing Hospital in Quincy, St. Francis Hospital in Litchfield, Anderson Hospital in Maryville, St. Anthony’s Memorial Hospital in Effingham, St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Belleville, St. Joseph’s Hospital in Breese, and St. Joseph’s Hospital in Highland. Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital in Lincoln, Taylorville Memorial Hospital and Touchette Regional Hospital in Centreville will complete their connections later this summer.

“The use of our shared health information exchange networks to securely transmit laboratory and other test results, discharge summaries, medication lists and patient histories will help improve patient safety, reduce redundant tests and procedures and provide more complete information about patients as they transition between healthcare settings in central and southern Illinois,” according to Stephen Lawrence, Executive Director of LLHIE and ILHEP.

Dr. David Graham, chair of the LLHIE Board of Managers and Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer for Memorial Health System, added, “This will help to facilitate the exchange of medical information between hospitals and physician practices that are currently implementing or upgrading electronic healthcare record systems as part of healthcare reform and allow hospitals like Memorial, St. John’s, Blessing and others to reduce the overall number of existing point-to-point interfaces between electronic health record systems in the future.”

“In the Metro-East and Southern Illinois areas, where physician practices are implementing electronic health records systems for the first time, connection to ILHEP will improve patient care and lower overall maintenance and support costs for rural hospitals and physician practices while providing real-time electronic laboratory and other results not available today in our area,” according to Dr. Thomas Mikkelson, chair of the ILHEP Board of Owners and Chief Operating Officer at Touchette Regional Hospital. Additionally, LLHIE and ILHEP have both implemented Direct Secure Email Messaging services and are active members of DirectTrust. DirectTrust is a national protocol standard that allows health care providers with a certified “trust” relationship to share health information and patient referrals as easily as they use email with the additional security measures necessary to protect patient privacy.

LLHIE and ILHEP have successfully exchanged electronic messages with Central Illinois HIE in Peoria, Metro Chicago HIE, the statewide Illinois Health Information Exchange, Missouri Health Connection, and the Wisconsin Health Information Network to provide a secure means to share patient information with healthcare providers participating in other networks. Through DirectTrust, both LLHIE and ILHEP participants can further exchange securely with providers nationally who are enrolled in the program. LLHIE founders include Blessing Health System of Quincy; Memorial Health System; Hospital Sisters Health System, including Prairie Cardiovascular; SIU HealthCare and Springfield Clinic, all based in Springfield. ILHEP founders include Hospital Sisters Health System, Anderson Hospital in Maryville, Southern Illinois Healthcare Foundation in Sauget, and Southern Illinois Health Care Association in Collinsville.

LLHIE and ILHEP selected Medicity as their technology partner for health information exchange.