HIE sees 450 percent growth

Cerner technology links large health systems, rural hospitals, physician practices

By Mike Miliard
12:14 PM

In just six months, the number of data sources sharing information through the Georgia Regional Academic Community Health Information Exchange has grown by 450 percent.

[See also: UMC taps Cerner for 10-year EHR stint]

The GRAChIE network – founded by Cerner Corp. and the health systems GRHealth and Navicent Health – connects electronic health records for about a million patients at 11 different healthcare facilities in Georgia.

"HIEs are most needed in rural areas around the country," said Tara Cramer, executive director, GRAChIE System, in a press statement. "Here in Georgia, seventy miles is a very common commute for a patient in one health system. Now, no matter where the patient is, their medical records are at the provider's fingertips."

[See also: Georgia HIE expands to DirectTrust]

Beyond that steep increase in data sources, usage of the HIE has increased 250 percent in the past six months, officials say.

GRAChIE was set up to connect several different types of healthcare organizations – big health systems, small medical practices and rural critical access hospitals alike. Key to this, officials say, is Cerner technology that enables connection among different organizations, regardless of which EHRs they use.

"GRAChIE is an example of how different healthcare organizations are coming together to benefit the patient and help clinicians provide better care," said Bob Robke, vice president at Cerner, who oversees its strategies for interoperability and population health, in a statement.  

"It's advancing care by breaking down technology boundaries to share information and growing its abilities to do so with each passing month," he added.

"We want to be an interoperability broker for providers," said Cramer. "We want to offer healthcare shops the tools they need to achieve strategies from patient-centered medical homes to ACOs to meaningful use."