Indiana Health Information Exchange expands

By Diana Manos
02:30 PM

Leaders of the Indiana Health Information Exchange (IHIE) - claiming to be the largest HIE organization in the country - announced Wednesday the exchange would expand to serve patients in Terre Haute and Clinton, Ind.

Union Hospital, a 380-bed community healthcare facility with 2,400 employees, is the largest nonprofit healthcare provider between St. Louis, Mo. and Indianapolis, serving patients from west central Indiana and east central Illinois. It  will join 60 other hospitals serving more than 6 million patients throughout the state as part of IHIE.

The Indiana Network for Patient Care (INPC) provides the technology for the services offered IHIE. Launched in 1994 by the Regenstrief Institute, INPC officials said every day the network handles approximately 2.5 million secure transactions such as laboratory test results, medication and treatment histories in a standardized, electronic format. This information is critical to diagnoses, treatment and referral decisions and is now available to Union Hospital healthcare providers, they said.

Wednesday's announcement supports the growing partnership between Regenstrief and IHIE to bring the technologies, expertise and customer support activities of the two organizations to create a meaningful patient-centric health information exchange to clinicians in Indiana, leaders of both organizations said. 

"We understand patients travel to receive treatment from various providers," said Kelly Mills, Union Hospital patient educator. "Joining this network enables us to access important medical information allowing our physicians to retrieve the most up-to-date and relevant patient data that is needed to effectively and efficiently treat our patients throughout the continuum of care - whether they've been treated by one of our physicians or by another participating healthcare provider."

The information is aggregated in real-time, so the network provides the most accurate, up-to-date information about a patient, regardless of previous treatment location, said J. Marc Overhage, MD, president and CEO of IHIE and medical informatics director of the Regenstrief Institute.

 "By joining this network, clinicians in these two communities will benefit from securely accessing data from across the participating organizations, which provides better information for better outcomes," Overhage said. "This benefits patients by enabling their doctors to choose optimal therapies and avoid drug-drug interactions, among other life-saving and efficiency-generating efforts."