HIE adds two big-name health systems

'Lives will undoubtedly be saved'
By Erin McCann
10:59 AM
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Two big-name California health systems have officially signed on with the San Diego Health Connect health information exchange, a deal poised to put an additional 2.7 million patients on the network.

The four-hospital Scripps Health and the four-hospital Sharp HealthCare in San Diego both have inked an official and complete deal with the HIE following an initial test run they had with Health Connect.

[See also: Top 4 HIE vendors for 2015 and 'Jury still out' on HIE sustainability.]

Back in 2013, both hospital systems announced they would be utilizing the basics of the San Diego HIE, and now they've opted to go all in, connecting to a medical records exchange, automatic public health reporting capabilities and emergency care hub, which receives electronic patient care reports from EMS agencies and converts the data into an HL7 format for hospitals and providers. 

Sharp and Scripps join some five other health systems already connected with the HIE, including Rady Children's Hospital, Kaiser Permanente, Navy Medical Center of San Diego and the U.S. Department of Veteran Services.

[See also: Maine's HIE launches analytics business.]

"The real-time exchange of medical information between San Diego providers will ensure patients receive timely and cost-efficient care," said Mike Murphy, chief executive officer of Sharp HealthCare, in a press statement. "Lives will undoubtedly be saved as a result of sharing critical patient care information."

San Diego Health Connect had its beginnings in 2010 after receiving a $15.3 million Beacon grant from the federal government to improve local health IT infrastructure to take on readmissions rates and improve child vaccination rates.

San Diego Health Connect utilizes Mirth as its HIE software vendor and also works with Humetrix and the California Association of Health Information Exchanges.